Today started with a fry-up eating contest between myself and Ryan. The rules are to nominate a 6-item breakfast (2 bacon rashers count as 1 item, and 2 rounds of toast are considered ‘supporting items’). The 6-item breakfast must be finished when the plate is clean and at least a quarter toast slice saved to mop up the remnants.
The order was placed with Carol, who has generous pans, and it became a 9 item breakfast for me and a 10 item for Ryan. This of course meant that he could forfeit the extra egg should he wish.
The thing is, Ryan talks like a man but is still a boy. In less than 10 minutes I was mopping up. Ryan chose to forfeit the sausage that was raw in the middle and to my astonishment, ate only the yoke from egg and never mopped up, what a dissapointment. He is as bad at the 6-item breakfast challenge as he is at pool (and tidying up after himself****).
Anyway, the weather turned today and it started raining, albeit big hot rain. We brought in the gear from 5600m and 6500m and got yet another good round of data, so all is looking well. Before we leave the New Hebrides Trench for good, there is just more site on the transect needing done and that is the infuriatingly shallow 2500m mark. We steamed for about 3 hours and threw everything off there. Job done.
On the plus side, we are two recoveries away from completing the imaging and sampling transect of the entire trench. Although the results are entirely valid, they are not especially interesting until it is all worked up, but at least we got it done somewhere in between the constellation of problems we have had to navigate at light speed each and every day.
Now we just need to get all the gear and head south before Mrs Rodier’s -80 freezer explodes (or some other random disaster).
I can only assume that given the incredibly, almost supernaturally good weather we have had that we will almost certainly get annihilated on the way home (rules of the sea), so looking forward to that, especially given that this wee boat of ours handles bad weather as if it were a hippo swimming on its back trying to do the hokey-cokey.
Alan – 26th November
**** Note to Jess Knight: why have you not house trained Ryan yet?