Holy muddy waters of Patagonia

This blog post aims at providing details on our first objective, which consists in the collection of river samples for the HYDROPROX project and related provenance studies. The plan is to collect water and sediment samples from seven rivers that ultimately flow in Baker Fjord (see map). Geochemical analysis of these samples back in Belgium…

Back in Patagonia: land of glaciers, rivers and research

The Southern Hemisphere is calling again. Two trains followed by two flights and one hour of camioneta brought us to the Austral summer, leaving behind a snow ‘storm’ approaching Europe (Fig. 1). Our team of four arrived in Coyhaique, the capital of the Aysén Region in Chile. This region holds some of the largest glaciers…

We’ll be back…

“Deep down within the Misty Mountains lived a creature named Gollum…”, a phrase which may sound familiar to many, starting the epic adventure of the Lord of the Rings saga, but not exclusively this one… In the late 70’s, the British marine geologist Neil Kenyon found this a most appropriate name for a submarine channel…

Sunny Sunday in the Channel

Today is the last day of our unfortunate early journey back to Zeebrugge. Just like on land, sundays on RV Belgica start with an extensive breakfast, including croissants and hot chocolate. Afterwards, being a sunny and almost windless day, the bridge deck is the place-to-be to hang out with a coffee and enjoy the healthy…

Straight into the deep end

For two months we have been preparing the VLIZ ROV for this opportunity during the Gollum campaign on RV Belgica. She really needed to be in great shape. We were about to kiss the limits of her maximum depth rating. After 2 test dives we could clearly see that “Suzee” was eager for more. Obviously…

Sparky in great shape

Today it’s my turn to write a daily report on this survey. My name is Wim Versteeg and, like Thomas and Robin, I am working for the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ). Before starting at the VLIZ, I was working at Ghent University for 27 years as a geophysicist for acquisition and processing of high resolution…

Keep on rollin’ baby

Fred Durst put it nicely into words in the beginning of “rollin’”: “Keep on rollin’ baby, you know what time it is”. And gosh, did we know what time it was. Predictions warned us in advance that swell waves of up to 2 meters were going to hit us on Wednesday and Thursday. The result:…

The beating heart of the ship

Hi, I’m Bernard. I am the Commanding Officer of the research vessel A962 Belgica. Together with the other 15 crew members of the Belgian Navy, our job is to bring the scientific team where they have to work and provide them with all kind of support to execute their job in an efficient,  secure and pleasant way. We have…

Birds and Marine Mammals of the Celtic Sea

The Biology Conservation Unit (RBINS) has collected presence and abundance data on seabirds and marine mammals in the Southern Ocean, the Arctic Ocean and since recently in the Atlantic, the North Sea and the central Pacific Ocean.  The aim of this long term program is to monitor marine top predators during transect on board research…