We are now 2 days away from reaching our first station-recovery site. The three participating labs – LDEO, SIO and IPGP are ready and excited to examine the state-of-health of the recovered instruments from the ocean. The examination involves looking for any physical damage, checking internal electronics including batteries, motherboard and data loggers. The environment at the bottom of the ocean is quite hostile, the equipment would be under very high water pressure (a water column of more than 5 km) that may compromise the physical integrity the instruments, leading to water damage of the electronics. The specialised electronics are designed for maximum efficiency, to run for an entire year on high capacity lithium batteries. Furthermore, the data collected will be of the order of several hundred Gigabytes.
Meanwhile the scientist party have agreed on a working roster, some working 12-hour night shifts. The continuous operation is necessary to complete the mission in the shortest time possible. The people working late night shifts are, however, rewarded by amazing sunsets and sunrises.