Porcupine Abyssal Plain: RRS James Cook cruise 062 – 24 July 2011

Securing kit ready for the science programme

Last night the team ensured that kit was secured and ready for the science programme. Sea water bottles were lashed together, boxes stowed carefully and equipment attached to work-benches... knowledge of DIY is handy when you work at sea!

Departing Falmouth 09:00hrs sailing across a flat calm sea

This morning we departed Falmouth at 09:00 hrs, sailing across a flat calm sea, under grey skies. The maritime pilot guided the ship for the first 30 minutes of the voyage, then transferred skilfully back onto the pilot boat.

The remainder of the day has involved a boat drill, checking and testing equipment, and discussion of the logistics needed to undertake the science programme.  For example, we discussed the final preparations for sediment coring that will be used to analyse macrofanua, meisofauna and sediment samples collected at depths of up to about 4,850 m. These samples will contribute to scientific understanding about change in deep-sea biology spatially and change with time.

Preparation of incubators.

The image to the right shows preparation of incubators for sea water samples that will assessed for how variables such as light and depth affect the bioluminescence activity of phytoplankton. The team look forward to first sample collections at Goban Spur tomorrow morning!

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