Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Departure from Cape Town!

The RRS James Cook left at 2pm yesterday. All participants and the crew were already on board for at least 24 hours and were busy unpacking, storing, securing every single item that will be used during the expedition.
Problem n°1: We had no internet connection until this morning and it is still very weak.
The weather was very nice yesterday and permitted the tricky operation of the calibration of the echosounders (downward looking instrument used to detect fish, plankton and even jellyfish). There are 5 echosounders on the James Cook and they are placed at different locations on the keel.
Clare, Philipp and the technicians put a small metal ball (calibration sphere) about 25 m under the ship, they turned on the echosounders and recorded the echoes from the ball.
During this operation, the ship was stopped a few miles away from Cape Town and many fur seals were hanging around.
Problem n°2: We guess that one of the seals played with the calibration sphere for a while - delaying the work for 2-3 hours!