It is all so quiet, shh shh. It is all so still, shh shh. And so peacefull until … we will depart again. That kinda sums up the last few days since we are still stuck in Bantry Bay, a place that starts to feel like home. Despite the splendid green Irish country views, the exquisite food prepared by our homeboy Mike and the peaceful nights without rolling out of bed, we do start to miss the action of acquiring scientific data. Luckily, from tomorrow onwards, there will be a weather improvement and we will be able to depart to the study area again. Hooray!
Who is writing all this crap you might wonder? Well, my name is Thomas Vandorpe and I am a marine technician at Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ). My main task onboard is to navigate the ROV towards its target position. That means I have to make sure that we do not bump into underwater cliffs and that the ROV-pilot (Robin) does not deviate from the preset course. During our first (and possible only 😦 ) dive this went really well, and we have 5 hours of splendid data which will hopefully make many scientists cum. Euh happy, I mean happy! But you all know that already since it has been reported a few days ago. So I will not bore you with any more details.
How do we fill our days on board during such days you might wonder? That is a just question (my lord)! We make sure that the remaining minor ROV issues get solved (e.g. today, we tried to improve the positioning data of the ROV), do office work which we did not have time for before (personally, I am wrapping up a paper) and make sure that the cruise report will be finished the minute we set foot at the dock of the bay (well actually harbor). That means processing seismic data, plotting tracks, inventorying marine mammal and seabird sightings and writing all that down in the first version of the report. Exciting? Well a little bit!
Also, today Robin executed a drone flight to get some nice images of the Belgica. The idea behind the drone was to get nice operational pictures of the ROV deployments, but the weather decided otherwise. Nonetheless, the shots taken by the drone today are of excellent quality and show you what our camping location looks like. Judge yourself!
With these new insights into our life on board, I will leave you. Do not cry though, because tomorrow, another inspiring entry will be written by one of the teammates. Stay tuned!