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Tangaroa Blog #12 Multibeam and multicore


Overnight the multibeam was at work. A multibeam is an instrument that is used to map the seafloor. The instrument emits a sound wave in a fan shape beneath the bottom of the vessel. The amount of time it takes for the sound waves to bounce off the seafloor and return to the instrument determines the water depth.

The multibeam instrument requires a babysitter to ensure everything is working as it should so unfortunately Alan & Will drew the short straw and took turns sitting in the special multibeam room while it was on last night.

While the multibeam is on the Masters/First Mate/Second Mate’s job is to steer the ship in a grid like manner so the multibeam can get full coverage of the seafloor in a particular area as decided by the scientists.

We’ve also finishing off the last of the multicore sites but like yesterday not many have been successful. They cores keep coming up filled with just water!

Each time the multicorer comes up from the seafloor everyone rushes down to deck and puts on their safety gear – steel capped boots, life jacket, fluro vest, safety glasses and work gloves – to get all ready for processing and then pretty much takes everything off again.

We’re getting pretty good at doing this change quick but with the brisk 35 knot winds it makes it a bit difficult for those putting on their wet weather gear – pants and jacket. Standing on one leg with this kind of swell is a bit difficult.

It kind of feels like the mood on the ship has changed today, as it is our last day aboard. I think arriving back in port tomorrow will be bittersweet for everyone as it means our ship time has ended but also means we’ll be back on land. 

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