Archive for October 7th, 2008
Once you meet the ship you are faced with the task of craning it all on to the ship and then unpacking everything to set up the laboratories that will be become our ‘homes’ for the next 5 weeks. This involves securing bench tops and then all of the instruments and equipment to the lab benches so that even in the roughest of seas it is stays on the bench and doesn’t end up in pieces on the floor!! After two days in port, 30 or so crane loads of equipment later, a flurry of activity around half emptied boxes, tying everything down and the inevitable safety briefing, we set sail. Leaving port can be quite a relief. Steaming to the first sampling station gives some rest bite to the weeks and months of preparation that you have undergone so far a momentary rest before the work kicks in – 11 hrs a day, 7 days a week. A voyage of over 8000 miles from Grimsby to the Falkland Islands; 38 days of physical and mental endurance.
Going to sea on a scientific research cruise is a test of endurance and stamina. Firstly, you have the build up of buying, building and testing equipment to make sure that all of your instruments work properly before you get to sea. This can take months of preparation. Then you have to carefully pack it to prevent it from being damaged in transport. We then load it into a container which is transported to where ever / which ever port the ship is in; in the case of AMT18 – Immingham (near Grimsby), UK.
Posted by: Kelly-Marie Davidson on Tuesday, 7th Oct, 2008