2 weeks 3 days
I am an Earth Science Lecturer < and research group< leader at the University of Glasgow, UK. I’ll be keeping a diary about the everyday ups and downs of life onboard whilst trying to conduct research in a floating (and pitching and rolling) chemistry laboratory on IODP expedition 318!
I am a palaeoclimatologist and organic geochemist. What does that mean in English? It means I am interested in molecules preserved in the ocean sediments.
What are you most looking forward to about the cruise?
Working with an outstanding team of experts from the US, the EU and Japan on the best Scientific research ship in the world to discover new knowledge about the climate history of our planet....oh and the chance of seeing some Blue Whales and the Aurora Australis (the Southern Lights).
What will you miss most when you are away?
My wife, my little boy George, He’s 3 and a half (the half is important) and our new baby Ryan (4 weeks when I flew to NZ).
What are you dreading most about this cruise?
Not getting the core we want due to bad weather, ice conditions or technical problems… and the pile of work that will build up while I’m away.
What was your most exciting experience on past cruises?
Seeing polar bears in the Arctic from the deck of the RRS James Clark Ross in 2008.
What was your worst experience on a cruise?
Getting into a force 11 storm in the North Atlantic on the RRS James Cook , but it was pretty exciting as well.
James Bendle's blog
Submitted by James Bendle on Tue, 02/16/2010 - 01:58
In the last few days we’ve been riding out a gale force 10/11 storm (for perspective 12 is hurricane strength). We had to leave the site we were drilling at and move to the north as there were too many ice bergs close-by It’s one thing to “heave to” through a Southern Ocean storm. It’s quite another to be in the vicinity of huge chunks of ice, the best policy is to run away!
Greenhouse world sediments, tree ring like sediments, exploding cores, whales, icebergs...just another week in the office...
Submitted by James Bendle on Tue, 02/09/2010 - 07:26
It’s been a while since I blogged. Just been too busy, working all hours in this floating city of science. Much has happened since the last post, Greenhouse sediments, tree ring like sediments, exploding cores, whales, icebergs and a live video conference with students on the other side of the planet...just another week in the office...
Submitted by James Bendle on Sun, 01/24/2010 - 01:40
The picture above shows Stephanie Carr (the microbiolgist and other organic geochemist onboard) and me looking happy with the cores coming up from our current (the 2nd) core site.
Submitted by James Bendle on Tue, 01/19/2010 - 05:45
This morning, shortly after I woke, we reached our first drill site (WLRIS-06A). There was a flurry of activity, the dynamic positioning thrusters were deployed, beacons dropped to the seafloor and the crew started assembling and lowering the drill pipe, section by section, through 3700m of water to the seafloor.
Submitted by James Bendle on Sun, 01/17/2010 - 10:25
The storm passed and we are steadily, but slowly, progressing towards our first drill site. It’s cold, misty and atmospheric outside. A few people have spotted whales. The mist means we have to go slow to avoid bergs. Not much else to report – the amount of meetings and tours has reduced and now we are all just focusing on our own lab preparations. Getting ready for the first “core on the floor” which could be as soon as tomorrow night.
Submitted by James Bendle on Fri, 01/15/2010 - 08:54
… and many goodly states and kingdoms seen”
Submitted by James Bendle on Tue, 01/12/2010 - 08:10
It’s been another interesting but very long day (midnight now, working since 8.30am). Science presentations this morning. We’ve had some great presentations since we started the cruise, many of the scientists onboard have worked on Antarctica or in the Antarctic margins previously. While we have been sailing to the first site they have been generously sharing their insights and past discoveries, so that we all have a deeper understanding of the aims of the cruise.
Submitted by James Bendle on Mon, 01/11/2010 - 02:37
Last couple of days have continued the hectic pace we’ve had since the start. Worked 14 hours both days!
Submitted by James Bendle on Fri, 01/08/2010 - 21:08
We sailed from Wellington a few hours ago, it feels good to be underway! Several colleagues from Wellington’s University of Victoria paddled out to the mouth of the bay in sea kayaks to wave us goodbye and wish us good luck. Everyone is full of optimism and ready to work hard to get the job done.
Submitted by James Bendle on Fri, 01/08/2010 - 20:01