Day 16 - Transit North
Today our onboard media officer, Huw Morgan, regailed us with times or yore. There is a lot of semantics that sailers use when describing distance (e.g. nautical miles, knots) that are mostly independent of metric and imperial measurement systems. The anchor chain is actually a cable that is kept inside the chain box, and the last link on the anchor cable is called “the bitter end”. Hence the expression.
Educators on board
We had two live crosses today: a school in Scotland and Australia.
You might ask how is it possible for us to make a video call on a boat in the middle of nowhere. Well, the RV Investigator is equiped with satellite technology that usually allow us to reply to emails and make the occasional WhatsApp call. The internet bandwidth is prioritised to establish a good video connection to schools for the onboard educators. The ship also has its own servers used to store data obtained on the voyage along with photos and videos to share with the crew and scientists onboard.
We’re sailing to the northernmost point of the Louisiad Plateau to see what mysteries lie beneath the deep… on the way, on the way we are dredging any features that look interesting - or at least not flat! This process is called transiting with opportunistic dredging, or “TWODing”.
We had one successful dredge while “TWODing” which gave us manganese nodules with basalt inside. These nodules are like Kinder Surprises: an outer layer of chocolate (manganese oxide crust) with a surprise in the middle (hopefully not carbonate). Except in this case the only way to get to the ‘surprise’ is to cut the egg (nodule) in half with a rock saw.
After our 2pm science meeting, during which Saskia Ruttor presented her work on isotope geochemistry for the Tasmantid and Lord Howe seamount chains, we had some time before the next dredge to film parts of “Dredgebusters”.
It’s essentially the Ghostbusters video clip except replacing “ghost” with “dredge”. Inspired, I know. More to come!