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22 April: Abandon hope! (Scotia Arc Expedition 2013)

By: Dr Nerida Wilson, Category: Science, Date: 29 Apr 2013

Indeed the wind died down enough for another trawl this morning, but it did not contain the organisms we’d hoped for.

22 April: Abandon hope! (Scotia Arc Expedition 2013) #2

Nerida Wilson & Greg Rouse © Australian Museum

But with the seas still building, we had to stand off and wait for the next bit of good trawling weather. Soon it was time to leave thes site and head toward the Burdwood Banks, which lie directly south of the Falkland Islands.

The weather definitely had ideas about how things were going to turn out. With periods of sustained wind above 70 knots, it didn’t take long for the seas to build into uncomfortable, foam-streaked heights. By lunchtime, we had several 40 foot waves (over 13 m!).

The ship rides very comfortably, but it can’t control gravity! So walking around is…well…weird! One minute you are light as a feather (when the ship is falling downwards) and the next minute you are straining to go up one step. It’s a bit like being on some kind of hybrid rollercoaster and gravitron machine! If you time it right, you can be assisted upwards, which is always helpful if you have to run up to the Bridge on the 5th level.

Although it’s a lot colder again, back to 2 degrees Celcius, we have only had a little snow. And it’s not quite cold enough to get ice building up on the ship. We are thankful for small mercies.