Archive for the 'Andy Rees' Category

As the chaos subsides

Air Temp 19.3°C

Sea Surface Temp 20.8°C

Well now we are well and truly underway, our pre-dawn station (No. 05) this morning saw us about 450 miles to the west of northern Portugal and by tomorrow morning we should be somewhere between Madeira and the Azores. We have a revised cruise track to account for the reduced time available to this cruise. This will take us closer than recent transects to the west coast of Europe and North Africa in the northern hemisphere and to the eastern coast of South America in the south.

New track
New track

Science activities are gradually loosing the frantic nature always associated with the early days of every cruise. All around people have played hunt the pipette, accused each other of hiding bottles and complained loudly about the disorganisation of others, whilst leaving their own trail of chaos. But all is beginning to gel and this mornings sampling station was a quieter and more ordered affair.

A failure in the ships air conditioning has been rectified and the temperature in the main laboratory has plummeted from a balmy 32.5°C to somewhere in the mid 20s which, while bearable, has seen jumpers discarded and shorts appearing a few days earlier than expected. There was a worry that if temperatures continued to increase people would soon be working in pants and vests..

Wildlife watchers have observed several whales and dolphins, and we are joined on a regular basis by a varied group of migratory songbirds. I must be spending too much time inside the ship, so far I have seen a grey wagtail and managed to catch the backside of some whale disappearing into the distance at about 500 metres away.

Hopefully, now that we are settling into a calmer routine, the early cruise weariness has eased (though this usually happens only a few days before the end of cruise exhaustion sets in!) and people start getting some results, we will have some science updates posted.

Posted by: Kelly-Marie Davidson on Friday, 11th Oct, 2013

And off we go…

James Clark Ross in Immingham

James Clark Ross in Immingham Tuesday 1st October saw 18 marine scientists from around the UK with colleagues from Spain and India converge on Immingham for the start of this years AMT cruise.

AMT23 has come back to the ship of the programs conception – the RRS James Clark Ross for the first time in 5 years. Due to some issues with one of the ships cranes and other logistical issues mobilisation of the cruise was extended by several days, but as I write we have now left Immingham and the River Humber behind and are making steady progress south through the North Sea.

River Humber

River Humber

Onboard are researchers from PML and NOC,S and the Universities of East Anglia, Warwick, York, Southampton and Vigo. Instrumentation has been installed, some is calibrated and some is being threatened with spanners and screwdrivers as the usual early cruise technical challenges are confronted.

Bob Brewin and Ian Brown from Plymouth Marine Laboratory with AMT colleagues

Bob Brewin and Ian Brown from Plymouth Marine Laboratory with AMT colleagues

The next few days will see us visiting the naval port at Portsmouth to take on aviation fuel for the British Antarctic Survey air fleet before heading south in earnest, destination Port Stanley, Falkland Islands, date of arrival – currently unknown!!

Posted by: Kelly-Marie Davidson on Sunday, 6th Oct, 2013

Primary production at late notice

When I was asked to come on AMT, back at the end of June, I thought I must surely be the last scientific crew member assigned to the ship because for such a long trip that really wasn’t much notice. Yet as it turns out I had a whole two months extra notice compared to my next guest blogger Denise Cummings, who didn’t find out until 3 weeks before we left!

Click to continue reading “Primary production at late notice”

Posted by: Rob Ellis on Wednesday, 19th Oct, 2011

Departures, dry runs and dolphins!

So yesterday finally marked our departure from Avonmouth and AMT21 was officially underway, much to the delight of both Andy Rees the AMT program manager and Glen Tarran the principle scientific officer on board!

Click to continue reading “Departures, dry runs and dolphins!”

Posted by: Rob Ellis on Friday, 30th Sep, 2011

AMT20 is fast approaching

AMT20 will set sail from the UK on 12 October 2010 and is due to arrive in Chile on 25 November 2010. The cruise will focus on microbial diversity and activity, physical oceanography, optics, analytical flow cytometry and primary production and coloured dissolved organic matter.

The principal scientist will be Dr Andy Rees from Plymouth Marine Laboratory.

Posted by: Kelly-Marie Davidson on Wednesday, 30th Jun, 2010

Whether the weather…

We always knew that at the southern end of the transect, the weather might take a turn for the worse and it certainly has. The last week or so saw air and sea temperatures beginning to fall, gradually at first but by the end of last week we had reached sea temperature of 17.5°C from 25.4°C seven days previous – to put this in to context this is similar to the difference between the English Channel in mid-summer and the Red Sea.

Click to continue reading “Whether the weather…”

Posted by: Kelly-Marie Davidson on Monday, 23rd Nov, 2009


Diary writing has never been a strength of mine and my intention to write regularly to this blog was always under threat. And so true to form I am sitting down to write this, my second entry in just over three weeks – about 10 days later than I had hoped for.

Cruise track showing sampling stations

Cruise track showing sampling stations

Since the last time I wrote when we were approaching the Azores, we have transected the northern gyre of the Atlantic where surface seawater temperatures where in parts greater than 28°C, we have crossed the area of equatorial upwelling, which was coincident with heavy cloud cover and much to the delight of Marie Cheize (from the University of Brest )at times torrential rain. Marie is collecting aerosol samples and when possible rainwater for isolation of bacteria and determination of dissolved iron.

Click to continue reading “Reflections”

Posted by: Kelly-Marie Davidson on Monday, 9th Nov, 2009

Leaving the UK

RRS James Cook leaves Falmouth on her 50 day voyage to Chile

RRS James Cook leaves Falmouth on her 50 day voyage to Chile

After several months of preparation and 3 days of mobilisation activity in Falmouth the RRS James Cook left Falmouth Docks in bright sunshine and calm seas at 12:08 on the 13th October for the 19th AMT cruise; the first on the James Cook and the first to have a destination of Punta Arenas, Chile. My initial plans were to begin this blog on day 1, but somehow had managed to block the frenetic way of life that typifies a research cruise from my memory, and it is only now, 5 days after sailing that I have found the time to write this.

Click to continue reading “Leaving the UK”

Posted by: Kelly-Marie Davidson on Sunday, 18th Oct, 2009