Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Loading the ship

There's a joke among the people in our lab that we don't know how to travel light. All in all we shipped about 180,000 pounds of equipment to Kaohsiung, Taiwan for this cruise. After the equipment passed through Taiwanese customs, it was brought to the dock in shipping containers and had to be fork-lifted out onto the dock before being loaded onto our ship, the R/V (Research Vessel) Roger Revelle using a crane.

It took about 3 days to get everything set up and ready to go. This may seem like a long time, but we set up a portable electronics lab inside the ship and all the computers and other support equipment as well as all the gear that is loaded onto the the ship's deck have to be securely tied down so they don't go flying when the ship takes a roll!

The last frame of the movie shows the back deck of the ship. Some of the things you see on the deck are buoys (the big yellow spheres and disk-shaped things) and acoustic sources (the long tube-shaped things - we'll talk more about these in the next post). We also brought along a whole container full of glass balls encased in yellow plastic to serve as flotation for the moorings (left), enough wire rope to run the length of a marathon, and ten 2-ton anchors for the moorings (right), all chained down so they won't budge until the time comes to release them overboard.

Once everything was loaded and tied down, we waved goodbye to Kaohsiung as we were escorted out of the harbor by a pilot boat and into the open ocean.