Back to science!

28 May:  The unimaginable has finally happened – we are down to 2.8m seas! It’s an incredible feeling to be able to walk without the aid of walls and rails. Around midnight was the first time in days that we’ve seen swells under 5m for any period of time and it is a relief in many ways. We were able to launch the seismic line yesterday after lunchtime and we have been running smoothly since. There was a moment at the end of the first survey line where we had to make a decision whether it was safe for the equipment to turn the ship to the next line as it would mean potentially driving in the trough of the swell. I was asleep when the decision was made to continue full steam ahead.  The seismic survey will continue for at least another day before we remove the 800m line that we have been trailing behind us and switch back to heat flow measurements. The upcoming forecast looks fantastic – winds are shifting to onshore (rather than from the south/southwest) and swells should be back down to 1-2m.

Below are a few pictures from a deployment and recovery of the heat flow probe a few days ago.

*see ‘About STINGS’ for more detailed information about seismic reflection and heat flow*



All hands on deck to deploy the heat probe.


Deploying the probe. Note the large swell.


Deploying the probe.



Recovering the probe. Operations are going 24/7.


Recovering the probe. The rough seas made this a challenging recovery. Drew, our resident technician pictured here steadying the probe, helps make every deployment and recovery a success.







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