Life on board – by Léna

We left few days ago and, that is it, work has begun!

We arrived on the study area on July 18th.

Shifts were assigned in groups of 2 to regularly record information about the vessel’s position, the depth measured by the magnetometer and any manipulations in progress. Fabio works with Anne, a geophysicist from the laboratory of Toulouse, during the 4:00-8:00 shift (day and night!).

All sample study equipment is now installed and OBS (Ocean Bottom Seismometer) have been assembled and tested. Already 11 OBS out of 15 have been deployed, they will be used to study the seismicity of the area. The bathymetry team is responsible for producing maps on a regular basis. Our heads of mission, Marcia and Daniele, work together every day to choose our route and organize the exact order and location of the dives. They must communicate regularly with the team navigating the vessel to give them all these instructions.

In our free time, we enjoy the small seawater pool at the front as well as well as the lounge and gym.

Even if we see the sea every day, we never get tired of it. The sunsets and sunrises are very beautiful.

We meet the crewmembers as we go along, the boat is so big and people all work at different times in different parts of the ship, so it is not possible to see everyone at the same time. We are 70 people on board!

On Friday, the 19th, our heads of mission organized a barbecue for the entire crew to launch the mission. It was very nice to eat and talk with the crew.

The first dive took place this morning. Marcia is currently at a depth of 6000m with Xavier, the pilot, and Pierre-Yves, the co-pilot. They will perform the basic checks and, as this is the deepest dive, perform further tests. Then they will start navigating the area, filming the sea floor and collecting samples.

The first samples should therefore be collected tonight and the petrologist will start studying them tomorrow. We are all very excited to see Marcia come up and discover the first videos and see the samples!

I will dive tomorrow the 22nd of July for the 2nd dive, with Olivier, the other pilot, and Guillaume, co-pilot. I’m a little stressed but very excited to be part of this!!!


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