We have now recovered nearly 90% of our ocean-bottom instruments, a total of 68 out of 78 instruments! The last few days where the most intense, recovering about 8 instruments a day. These instruments were deployed at the mid – Atlantic ridge at about 50 – 100 km apart. The reason for this short distance between the stations is for us to be able to image the deep structure beneath the ridge at a high resolution. A little duck, brought on board the ship by Prof. Mike Kendall from the University of Bristol, helped us stay on track. The duck is a fieldtrip mascot for the geosciences department at the University of Bristol.
Life on board is more-or-less ‘normal’ albeit the ship being on high alert for pirates the last few days as we were few hundred kilometres from the African coast. The ship was on “lock down” for a couple of days – which meant no one could stay outside on deck unless an instrument was being picked up, all windows and portholes shut, and all external lights, except the navigation lights, were turned off. As we sail away from the African coast, preparations are underway for 4 days of surveying a section of the mid-Atlantic Ridge called the Chain Fracture Zone, which means research techs have a few days off!