Our science mission is officially completed. Everyone can now do a collective sigh of relief. No more split shifts, mid rats, deployments and processing. Oh yeah we need to pack!
Preparing for the crossing.
Securing some of the science equipment for the crossing
I mentioned earlier that this is an interdisciplinary science cruise. Doing this type of cruise appears to becoming more and more popular as an effort to curb costs and enable the teams of scientists to work together. We were able to complete 100's of deployments in Marine Geology, Geophysics and Physical Oceanography. We have a treasure trove of specimens and data worth its weight in gold, scientifically speaking.
Big Antarctica filled with core samples, mega cores and containers of all types. Big Antarctica is the nickname for one of our refrigerated rooms.
Our crossing back to Tasmania will take 7 to 8 days. We have been warned by Captain Paoni and Dr. Leventer to expect very rough seas. Every single specimen and piece of scientific equipment must be securely fastened and protected from the elements. All of our personal items must also be stowed. Because of this it has been a very busy day. Every member on the cruise has been packing, labelling, hauling and strapping everything down. The outside decks have been secured. Hopefully we might have a chance to step outside for a breath of fresh air in the next week. We are at the mercy of the Southern seas.
The ship parked in the sea ice.
In order to complete all the preparation with minimal jostling, the ship is moved to the sea ice. This greatly reduces wave action. Several large cranes must be used to pick up and drop off equipment that could weigh tons. A lot of this equipment is extremely expensive so doing the move as carefully as possible is job one. The crew and Marine Tech's do a top notch job.
Barry Bjork completing the packing of some electrical equipment in the Helo hangar.
Well it looks like I have to get back to helping with the preparations. In the last few hours the winds have picked up and the seas are rolling. I guess I'm glad I still remember my knots.