Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Celtic Voyager INFOMAR Survey Blog 2017

I am travelling on board the RV Celtic Voyager as a member of the Marine Institute INFOMAR survey team. This seabed mapping survey expands on previous surveys in an effort to create a range of integrated mapping products for Ireland. My role will be as an online surveyor. This involves operating the survey systems on a 12 hour shift rotation. We will have 24 hour operations on board to maximise our efforts for our ship time.

Leaving the Cork city on the 24th of April 2017 our destination is approximately 45 nautical miles east of Cork Harbour, about 25 nautical miles south of the Waterford Coastline. Our efforts will last one week depending on weather conditions which are rough and building as I write this blog.
Leaving Cork Harbour

This trip is a special one for me as it is my first with the Marine Institute and my first time on board the RV Celtic Voyager. Upon arriving at the vessel docked on the Cork quays I was welcomed on board by the captain and shown around the vessel. There is a crew of 11 on board which includes 7 crew and 4 scientists.

The Vessel consists of three floors with the wheelhouse and dry lab on the top floor. I will be mostly working in the dry lab where our surveying computers are setup. The middle floor contains the mess which includes a canteen and lounge, and wet lab which is where all the wet and dirty work goes on with access to the working deck at the stern of the vessel. The bottom floor is where the crew cabins and washing facilities are located.

My cabin is more spacious than I expected with bunk beds, a sink, wardrobe, TV and small bench. I’m sharing my cabin with another scientist who will work on an opposite 12 hour shift to me. This is to insure there are no disruptions during our sleeping hours. Being the newest scientist on board, I have inevitably got the night shift working from 12 midnight to 12 noon.

The Dry Lab

Right now we are in transit to the survey area which will take about six hours. I am looking forward to getting surveying and seeing what the weather has in store for us. My plan for the evening are to have dinner at 1800 and get some sleep before starting my shift tonight.
Michael Arrigan