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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

RV Celtic Explorer - Newfoundland Mission DAY FOUR

Date 02/02/2011 Time : 0230 hrs (UTC)

Position: 49 deg 47 N 29 deg 20 W  , Speed 6.5 Knots

930 miles to go to St Johns    Wind 28-40 Knots SW

Activities onboard to day:

Very heavy day today with winds of force 9 – 10 for most of the day, vessel was making very good progress into the weather despite this and was making 8 knots + for most of the day, the officers had to slow down significantly this evening however as the motion became too extreme , despite this the catering team produced an excellent meal this evening despite being airborne for much of the afternoon!




Waves breaking over the bow of the RV Celtic Explorer - Photos: Aodhan Fitzgerald
Cetacean and  bird watches continued throughout  the day  with several bird species (including puffins) and several pods of pilot whales spotted. The higher numbers in this area is probably due to the vessel crossing the Mid Atlantic ridge where the water shoals up from 4000m to less then  1000metre pinnacles over a very short distance, the waters are more productive here then over the abyssal plains and provide feeding grounds for some species. 

Everyone has their sea legs now at this stage which was good as it was a bit of a roller coaster ride all day (one that you can’t get off). The air temperature is down significantly now at 5.6 degrees despite the water being over 13 degrees on the surface. 


Crew preparing for xBT cast in rough weather - Photo: Aodhan Fitzgerald
The xBT casts were carried out all day until nightfall and it was decided to halt deployments until daylight due to the severe weather , which as well as a safety issue the little thin copper wire that transmits data back from the XBT was being blown back onto the ship rendering the data unusable for much of the cast. We expect to resume these operations at daybreak

So we have a little more heavy weather to get through today but beyond that from Thursday at 0500 or so things are starting to settle down for a period   which should speed us on our way to St John’s .

Aodhan Fitzgerald

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