Shifts and Subs
My day to day life has changed on the ship as of last night. We have now started out shift work as we have reached our experiment area. It’s important that all the equipment works so we have watch a bank of screens to raise the alarm if the equipment and therefore the data collection stops. (pictures of watch keeping at the bottom of the blog)
I am on the 8- 12 shift. After logging the data this morning I went out to watch the OBS team deploy a raft of instruments.
This one you may note is red, rather than yellow. This is because the team have prototype instruments in this crate. The prototype results will enable the development of new improved equipment for future expeditions. Scientists are learning all the time.
Autosub had another dip today. Its collision avoidance sonar sent out an error message so Autosub returned to the surface early (500m short of the ocean floor). I am amazed at how clever Autosub is. She (I think she is a she and I’m going to refer to her as female gender from now on), has a great self-preservation instinct and if anything goes wrong she returns home – a very sensible piece of equipment indeed!
Last night Professor Tim Reston gave a talk to the crew about purpose of our expedition. He used some great diagrams that I have my eye on for teaching resources…..
Time on board ship
When I was in my early twenties I backpacked around the world. I spent 6 days and 6 nights on the Trans-Siberian railway. I’m sure I remember putting my watch forward by two hours everyday so that when I reached Beijing I’d be on local time. Meals however were served on Moscow time. Neither Moscow time nor the time on my watch had any relevance to the local time should the train have stopped suddenly.
Time on board ship is a similar weird and wonderful phenomenon. All data is recorded in GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) or UCT (Universal Coordinated Time – a less Imperialistic reference by those who are not British). This makes life easier for scientists to compare results and means there is less room for error by not factoring in time differences.
When we were in Cape Verde we were one hour behind the UK. We set sail on Thursday morning. On Friday night at midnight the ship’s time went back an hour so we were two hours behind GMT. On Sunday (17th January) we went back another hour. For the majority of the expedition we will be living three hours behind GMT. This ties in with dawn and dusk at the Ridge 13 degrees North.
We will lose another hours after the science has been collected and the ship travels on to Trinidad and Tobago – again this will take place over the course of a couple of days. This means that we will reach Port au Spain at the correct local time five hours behind GMT.
Our meal times are as follows:
All on local time. I am going to tell you about our meals another day.
Our watch shift patterns are:
We work our shift for 4 hours and then have 8 hours off. I am currently on the 8-12 shift with Matt. Obviously we will sleep in one of our 8 hours off. In the other we have our own work to do. I have to admit it is quite disconcerting using both time zones consecutively. I’m writing down 13:00 hours when it is actually 11:00 O’clock in my reality.
Gael has kindly written ‘how to keep watch’ for dummies a few slides of which I include below:
I’m enjoying life on the ship and learning sooo much.