Today wasn’t any better than yesterday except for the cloud cover meant we didn’t spontaneously combust every time we stepped outside.
We had loads more problems that I simple do not have the time or patience to write down, but it was as Steve always says ‘been a funny old day’.
But what of the Abyssal-lander ‘who dares wins’ deployment to depths greater than it is rated, well, of course that went just swell. It took about 1000 great photos without so much as frown, groan or a hissy-fit. Again the interesting thing is that the scavenging community at 4100m, whether up here or in the SouthFijiBasin, appears to be exactly the same to as deep as 6200m. It’s all great quality data, but it is become somewhat monotonous, but then no one has been here before.
Anyway to compensate for the lack of Latis, we had to make up a bunch of new amphipod traps to lash to the hadal lander. That sounded easy, but became a bit of an epic in itself, but that was nothing.
Myself, the Captain, Steve and Pascoe then spent all afternoon and evening making an entirely new Latis from scratch out of things from around the ship. That’s right, using spare floats, an old acoustic release, every bit of netting and aluminium section we have on board, we built a 6000m rated free-falling death machine. We eventually ran out of day light to test it, we’ll do that tomorrow. It is so far fuelled on pure high-octane resentment and disappointment, both highly renewable sources of energy on this trip so far, but propelled with nothing but brute cunning and desperation the new lander with fly like an eagle (or even better, sink like a stone…and then float when we tell it to).
The conversation later turned to the cause of recent bad luck and we concluded it could only be one of two things. It is either the horrendous beard I have cultivated (ginger and brown with a seasoning of salt and pepper) or Ryan is a Jonah. I figured there is less paperwork involved in shaving than jettisoning an undergraduate, so tomorrow at first light, the beard comes off.
So, after 14 hours of working on deck I climbed into the oven for some sleep.
Alan – 19th November