In the first week of our voyage, when we had great weather, we were very efficient in deploying, recovering and surveying instruments. Our second week has been a bit slower, interrupted by wind and waves, but as we write this we are preparing for our final deployment.
It’s safe to say that we were mistaken in our last blog when we thought the sea was rough. It certainly has been since! Three consecutive night time shifts of ours were cancelled. It was just too dangerous to deploy or recover any instruments.
Instead of starting work at midnight, we would start at 8am after breakfast and everyone would be ready to jump into action. When possible, an instrument would be moved from the main deck to the cutaway so we were prepared to deploy if the conditions calmed and allowed it. Sometimes nothing would be deployed or recovered until well into the day.
We are relatively well adapted to the night shift work and struggled to stay asleep when there was no work for us. One night we ventured to the ship’s lounge area where we discovered the most amazing DVD collection and had a 2am viewing of ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’.
We didn’t think of it at the time but we probably should have raided the ice cream freezer and had a midnight feast! Maybe that’s a mission for tonight…
Even though we weren’t deploying or recovering as many instruments as at the beginning, there were still important tasks to be done; checking the digital copies of our reports match those in the logbooks, using the data provided by our surveying to locate the deployed instruments, and starting to look at the recovered instrument’s recordings.
It is rather comical on the Bridge. Quite frequently we would get caught out by the waves outside and end up sliding across the room on our chairs! Everyday tasks that you usually give no thought to became really difficult – things like walking in a straight line or carrying a plate of food.
It is much calmer now. We were greeted by a glorious sunrise this morning and all the white horses have raced away. After this final deployment we will set sail for Wellington and soon our first research voyage will be complete.
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