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Tangaroa Blog #11 Helpful hands

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The crew notify us of when the multicorer is about to come and then every heads below and gets their safety gear on ready to get stuck in the mud and begin processing the cores but there hasn’t been much processing today.

It seems that there isn’t much soft sediment on the seafloor near were we are as the cores have come up empty a number of times today and the multicorer can’t just be plonked down anywhere.

Each of the sites has been specifically chosen because of where it is in relation to the submarine landslide off the coast of Kaikoura and how scientists think sediment might move along the Hikurangi canyon.

Seeing as we can only reach a certain amount of sites on this voyage each of the sites is ranked in priority to ensure all the key sites are reached. There are a few however that the scientists has identified on the fly by looking at maps of the seafloor that show sediment thickness.

Making changes to the schedule of core sites is made easy by the fact that the crew are so flexible. They’re always on hand to provide updates of the multicorer progress.

We’ve had a few long waits as instruments come up or go down to the sea floor and this means hanging out on deck with the crew. They are such a great bunch and have even taught me a few knots while we’ve sat on the deck waiting.

The crew come from all around New Zealand and work one month on and one month off as the other ‘swing’ replaces them. When they are on, they work 12-hour shifts and despite what I’d call long hours they’re always jovial.

The crew have looked after us so well and it has been such a pleasure working with them. They are definitely the best crew I’ve ever had!


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