The R/V Investigator is a big ship at 94 meters length, capable of covering up to 10,000 nautical miles and up to 60 consecutive days at sea. We won’t be pushing those limits, but definitely an impressive vessel. And a lot of ship to explore. I know my emergency exits (thats why we do the drill!), and can easily navigate from my cabin to the mess or the lab or the “sheltered science area”(where we can sample from the CTD completely protected from the elements).
A glimpse into the sheltered science area- you can see the CTD rosette anchored down for storage, the bottles will be set open before our next deployment
This morning I learned the outside decks a bit better, especially the level 2 observation deck. We had whales join us on station for quite a while, diving under the ship -at which time the group of us would cross the deck to watch them surface on the other side! What a show!
Two whales put on quite the show for us as we did a CTD cast this morning.
In terms of getting around inside the ship, we get quite a lot of help. Each staircase entrance lists the major destinations you can reach through those stairs.
Generally, we try to avoid staircases near cabins- there is always someone asleep, and stairs can be noisy (especially in heavy boots)!
Of course, there is still limited space on the ship and what is available needs to used efficiently to get as much done as possible. Thus, its important to watch for warnings like these! Don’t want to knock anyone out barging through a door. Many doors have small windows but others knocking is a good idea!
As for me, all core processing operations have been set up in the “wet, dirty” lab. We do need clean space, but since our work is being done in a glove bag (these are thin but expensive plastic so they are kept safely tucked away until coring day!)- we can have our clean bubble anywhere. The current set up allows our two glove bag operation to use a single nitrogen bottle, allowing us to safely store the compressed nitrogen in the lab.
My work area in the ‘wet, dirty’ lab. The clean tube and white platform on the far left edge are where we will extrude core samples. Since we can only work with one core at a time, the additional cores will be stored down the hall in a constant temperature lab, to keep them at bottom water temperatures.
Everything has to be secured when at sea. So far, we’ve had very calm seas- but that can change, and quickly. You’ll see a few strings running over the white crates in the image above, but the crates themselves are also directly screwed into the plywood counter top.
Looking about half the length of the main hallway between the sheltered science deck and the main floor labs (including the wet dirty lab and the constant temperature lab-first door on the left above). The green arrows are the emergency exit guide- kind of like the aisle lights on an airplane.