DAY 23 – Gap filling

The 2500m site was pretty darned good for a shallow little thing.  Big rays, macrourids, fish, animals, creatures, monsters, you know the ‘sciencey stuff’.

 

A big dirty Ray sniffing around at 2600m.

A big dirty Ray sniffing around at 2600m.

So that was the last gap that needed filling in the transect.  We then pointed the pointy end of the vessel south to start the 600mile transit to the next station – the next station? you cry, where are they going?.  I like to think there are people reading this at home thinking ‘in the name of Hades, why don’t they just go home!”, oh, and now they have made me use an exclamation mark in my blog quilling.  I hate exclamation marks.

 

Well, the original thingy I was talking about before the impromptu digression is one of those things.  Science and all that.  I would love to have had a go at slamming something into the 8300m hole off Ile Matthew, but after careful consultation with the Captain involving three different maps, it is unlikely that it is actually there.  The problem with working at the edge of the world is that the maps are terrible and this wee trawler of ours can’t ‘ping-pong’ (echo-sound) beyond about 4000m on a good day.  So, the risk was too high which means I just broke a promise to my 2-year old son, ah, what a trip.

 

Instead we are going to fill in a bigger gap.  To date we have done over 50 deployments from the deepest parts for the Kermadec Trench (10,000m) up to 1000m, and now we have 8 deployments from high up on the SouthFijiBasin and nearly 30 deployments in the New Hebrides Trench.  The gap we want to fill is between our original SouthFijiBasin sites and the most northern sites we did earlier this year near the Kermadec Trench, thus giving us ultimate power in the South Pacific.

 

So, with a 600 mile trip south, we immediately started punching into the weather which tipped the balance of some people’s vom-o-meter.

 

Thom – the best a man can get, except when he is brought to tears while barking into the toilet bowl.

Thom – the best a man can get, except when he is brought to tears while barking into the toilet bowl.

The last thing I heard before dozing off was Thom throwing up.  He is a powerful chap which comes with advantages and disadvantages.  The main disadvantages being, 1) he is too big for his bunk, 2) when he needs to alight his bunk quickly he does so with the grace of a steam roller rolling off a garage roof, and 3) when he throws up he sounds like a police Alsatian barking into the toilet bowl.

 

I will leave you with that thought.

 

Alan – 27th November

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