On Monday, eight of us made our way from Aberdeen, Bristol, and Southampton to Cork, Ireland, in order to join the second leg of JC062. When we arrived at the port on Tuesday morning, the James Cook already awaited us eager to head back out to sea.
Today we deployed the US Naval Electronic Lab (USNEL) Box Corer which collects large samples of sediment from the seabed. The corer is lowered by wire into the sea and its design allows a free flow of water through the frame, which helps with a speedy descent.
Late last night the team deployed a CTD and as soon as it had been recovered several hours later, we set to work collecting and analysing the samples. We are looking at the composition of the phytoplankton that lives in surface waters and how they might be influenced by climate change.
This morning the technical team used an acoustic release system to free the sediment traps that were deployed at the PAP site from the research vessel Celtic Explorer in September 2010. Principal Scientist Henry Ruhl and Marine Technician Corinne Pebody watched from the bridge until the PAP 3 buoys, on the traps, were spotted.
On Monday most folks in the science party started research activity when we reached Goban Spur where we collected water and sediment samples. The sampling tubes on the mega corer fill with sediment as the instrument lands on the sea bed.
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!