15 Jan – East Scotia Ridge expedition blog

Professor Paul Tyler

The most exiting thing about this expedition is the potential for discovery.

Day 1 – Saturday 15 January 2011 – Crossing Drake Passage

We wake on Saturday morning having navigated the Magellan Straits and now we start to cross the Drake Passage to Antarctica. Paul Tyler is in charge of this expedition and we have a busy schedule ahead of us.

Paul has been going to sea as a scientist since he was an undergraduate in Swansea in 1970. There he would board the RV Ocean Crest and study the fauna of Swansea Bay. His career has included over 50 voyages to sea and this expedition is his last as Principal Scientist because Paul retires in 2012. He will, however, keep his hand in and continue to go to sea in his retirement.

The most exiting thing about this expedition is the potential for discovery” says Paul. “We have to locate and map the vent sites on the seafloor before we can start to study these remote ecosystems.

Using a remotely operated vehicle in Antarctic waters to study some of the hottest and most hostile environments on the planet stretches our technology to its limit.”

The programme is the culmination of 20 years of planning for Paul and the team. The Antarctic vent systems have been the goal of the international science community for decades. This expedition provides a major piece of the jigsaw for the Census of Marine Life, extending our knowledge of the biogeography of deep-water chemosynthetic ecosystems.

For more details on our voyage and links for Schools see www.thesearethevoyages.net/jc55.