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Monday, January 31, 2011

RV Celtic Explorer - Newfoundland Mission DAY ONE

29/1/11: Time 1910 utc, position 15 deg 28'N  8 deg 56'W   just south of Galley Head   Speed 14 knots

The vessel is now  making best speed towards St John's Newfoundland,  we are sailing in a North easterly breeze and are hoping to make good progress to the west over the next 24 hours  whilst the weather is in our favour  as we expect very strong headwinds  towards the middle of next week which will slow the vessels progress significantly .

Newfoundland fisheries expert Prof. George Rose and (left to right) Aodhan Fitzgerald, Ciaran O'Donnell and Robert Bunn (Marine Institute), Wade Hiscock and Cecil Bannister (Newfoundland) Dave Stokes and Sheena Fennell (Marine Institute) - Photo: Cushla Dromgool-Regan (Marine Institute)

We departed Cork at 1500 hrs after a very busy day of  getting the vessel fuelled and provisoned for the trip and loading lots of scientific equipment.  

Prof. George Rose is briefed by Ciaran O'Donnell
on the workings of the ship

Wade Hiscock and George Rose being briefed on the layout of the wet fish laboratory aboard RV Celtic Explorer by Robert Bunn of the Marine Instiute - Photo: Cushla Dromgool-Regan (Marine Institute)

Three of our fisheries science services team  David Stokes , Robert Bunn and Ciaran O'Donnell had a busy morning helping the Canadian scientists  get to grips with the wide array of fisheries research equipment aboard the vessel which will be required for the  overwintering Cod survey which Prof. George Rose will be leading once the vessel reaches Newfoundland.

Prof. George Rose - - Photo: Cushla Dromgool-Regan (Marine Institute)

The Bird and mammal research team of Emily Wilson from memorial University , Alessandro Pierini  and Conor Ryan from GMIT   who are conducting visual observations for Whales  and Dolphins from the crows nest during daylight , bird observations from the bridge and  24 hour a day acoustic monitoring using a ultra sensitive towed hydrophone have settled into their watch pattern already and have already spotted  a resident pod of bottlenose dolphins just outside Cork Harbour as well as numerous acoustic contacts using the towed hydrophone.

Marine mammal acoustic gear being loaded on board -
Photo: Cushla Dromgool-Regan (Marine Institute)

Sheena Fennell who is leading the Oceanograophic component of the survey is preparing and planning for the acusition of expendable Bathythermmograph data  (xbt) beginning   later tonight which basically are expendable temperature probes which when used every 20 miles of the journey will give a detailled picture of the  oceanographic structure of the Atlantic over the entire crossing .

Sheena Fennell checks oceanographic buoy system -
Photo: Cushla Dromgool-Regan (Marine Institute)

Prof. Rose  and his technician Wade Hiscock  are getting to grips with the vessels fisheries acoustic equipment and are very impressed with the quietness of the vessel!They hope to collect echosounder data for the entire transit.

The sea-going scientific team - Photo: Cushla Dromgool-Regan (Marine Institute)
Thats it for the moment , the crew and scientists are settling into watch patterns and hopefully everyone will have their sealegs by the time the heavy weather comes our way!

Passing Cobh on the way out to the Atlantic - Photo Conor Ryan

Blog by Aodhan Fitzgerald - Marine Institute


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