The weather is calm, and albeit the occasional sway of the ship, life on board is so far pleasant. Most of us had a good night sleep followed by a tasty English breakfast. It will take us about 6 days until we reach our first way point. In the meantime, however, several preparations are underway. Different groups started setting up their equipment in their assigned laboratories.
The principal science officer called a meeting to discuss the objective of the cruise, including survey of ocean bottom instruments, locating them at the surface once they are released from the seabed, recovering and securing the instruments on the deck, and retrieving the data – which probably is the single most important procedure. The meeting was attended by the science party, the chief-officer, research technicians, and the crew who operate the cranes for retrieving instruments from the sea.
After lunch we had an emergency muster… an “Abandon Ship” drill. The captain raised an alarm which was followed by 7 loud rings and a prolonged ring. Everyone headed to their designated muster station where we were given a lifejacket. After a quick body count, we headed to our designated lifeboats. The lifeboats made us feel safe, although they were a bit crammed and stinky! For many in the scientific party this was an exciting experience. Had this been a real-life situation it would not have been a pleasant one at all.