Day 8 - Ode to the sticky stuff!
The surface of the southern ocean glistens with a metallic sheen as the morning light hits. Gusts of wind punctuate its surface and create ripples, which polarize from the tiny to the grandiose. The winds continued to rise from 50 to 60 to 70km/hr and the waves grow to 6, 7 and 8 metres tall. The odd freak causes a plume of spray across the deck.
Photos: The aft deck funny walk generator.
The VMPs, which usually take a 4 hour return journey, cannot be deployed. We cannot guarantee the weather will be stable enough for their recovery and at night we cannot see the freak waves coming. The CTD continues throughout the day. The winch waxes and wanes under the undulation of the rosette. With the current foaming below and the wind howling above the ship is dragged in either direction. Eventually the CTD too must stop.
Photo: The non-slip matting. Our Savior.
Inside the boat life is both comical and surreal. Walking down the corridors we must lean left then right then left then turn and limbo and crouch and limbo - Monty Python’s Ministry of Funny Walks would approve. Sitting at a computer checking email, my chair slides from one end of the keyboard to another like a typewriter. Marie-Jose hurtles backwards, sliding unhindered until she can grab some desk or...crash. What stands between thousands of pounds worth of expensive computers and electronics, coffee cups and dinner plates is one single miracle: the non-slip matting. This un-assuming rubberized mesh is simply laid across a surface and anything you put on it simply does not slide. In places like this it is the simple things that are most remarkable.