Back on deck!

Hello again! It has been exactly one year since the PILAB crew came together for an exciting scientific expedition in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. The deployment phase of the expedition was completed in April 2016, led by Dr. Nicholas Harmon from the University of Southampton. This time around, a total of 16 scientists, including a few new faces, from across the globe – as far as New Zealand – are boarding the research vessel RRS Discovery, which is moored at Porto de Santa Cruz in Tenerife. The scientific and technical crew of this expedition is tasked with retrieving 78 instruments (seismometers and magnetotellurics) from the bottom of the mid-Atlantic Ocean.

RRS Discovery at Port of Santa Cruz, Tenerife
RRS Discovery at Port of Santa Cruz, Tenerife

The expedition is led by Dr. Kate Rychert from the University of Southampton. Dr. Matthew Agius and I (Dr. Saikiran Tharimena) are joining Kate on this expedition. An early morning ride to Gatwick airport, and we are on a flight to Tenerife. After 4.5 hours we land at Sur Reina Sofia or better known as Tenerife South airport. Our logistics agent received us at the airport and drove us to the ship. On our arrival, the chief officer of the ship, Ms. Evelyn, welcomed us and gave a short tour of the ship and then our quarters.

We completed some paperwork for the cruise and then headed to the city centre for the evening. The ship sets sail on 28th February at 8 pm, so we had plenty of time to enjoy on “the land”! Tenerife welcomed us with much excitement and fanfare – the Grand Carnival festivities taking place everywhere in the capital city of Santa Cruz, just a few hundred metres away from our ship. We had a great time at the carnival – a night of revelry I would say!

Carnival at Santa Cruz, Tenerife Carnival at Santa Cruz, Tenerife