Day 4 |
Oct 09, 2009

Day At Sea

By Juan Carlos Restrepo, Geologist

Co-ordinates: 07º 01.2’ N, 085º 09.5’ W

Weather: Cloudy and rainy

Air Temperature: 25ºC

Sea Temperature: 29ºC

Pressure: 1005 hPa

Wind: Blowing from the NE at 15 knots

Sea state: A rough swell of 6 to 7 feet

Today was one of those days that you would rather be at sea than anywhere else. It rained all day! At least we were not ashore getting soaked, so it was a great day for relaxing and taking part in the Prince Albert II lecture program. 

At 10 am I presented a lecture entitled “EARTH, What lies below the surface?”  This is a Geology 101 lecture to introduce our guests to basic terminology and concepts needed to understand the geological features of the places that we will explore. I talked about the origin of the earth, types of rock, the internal structure of the planet and plate tectonics.

At 11:30 our onboard Marine Biologist, Robin Aiello, presented her “Not Just a Pretty Fish” lecture about fish and their lifestyles.  She explained in a fun and informative fashion why they come in so many different shapes and colors.

I was having lunch when our Captain, Peter Stahlberg made his noon announcement. He told us as usual about the weather and sea conditions, as well as other nautical information.  However, today he also told us something else.  He explained how last night the ship had picked up with the starboard stabilizer a long-line fishing line.  We had been dragging 200 meters of thick (200 pound) fishing line and it was wrapped around the stabilizer. Because we had been moving forward all the time, there had been no problem, but tomorrow during the anchorage maneuver, the line could potentially get tangled in the propellers. 

The plan was to stop the ship, and lower a Zodiac manned by our Expedition Leader Robin West, the Staff Captain and two members of the deck crew.  They went around under the pouring rain and rather easily untangled the line.  Afterwards they proceeded to make sure that there was nothing else in the propeller.  At that point Robin jumped in the water with his snorkeling gear and confirmed that the prop was clear. 

We all paid close attention to the operation and at 2 pm Robin Aiello gave a Snorkeling Briefing. Following this briefing, the snorkel gear handout took place for those guests wishing to borrow it from the ship’s supply.

At 3:15 our head sommelier Predraig held an exciting and slightly intoxicating Martini Tasting Seminar, followed by Richard Sidey our resident photographer at 5 pm, with his lecture entitled “Photography 101”.  I have attended many photography lessons, but I must say that this was a remarkable one. Richard shared with us his best compositional and technical advice for landscape and wildlife photography. 

At 6:45 pm, as usual, the Expedition Team held a recap and briefing where we discussed some of the highlights of today and yesterday, and the briefing outlining the plans for tomorrow during our visit to Cocos Island.