Expedition 321 – we have lift off!

Well we’re off! Expedition 321, here we come! It hardly seems anytime since Expedition 320T and here we are again. It already feels like I’ve been away from home quite a while. I left Leicester in the UK very early on the morning of the 4th May so that I could be in Honolulu that evening, which meant taking a train, two planes and a bus; altogether a total of about 24 hours worth of travel. My room at the hotel in Honolulu was a very welcome site I can tell you! I moved onto the JOIDES Resolution the very next morning (5th May), along with some of the other members of IODP staff, the Staff Scientist and Co-Chief Scientist, so that we could cross-over with our colleagues from the previous expedition. The main Science Party joined us on the ship on the 6th.

We had a really good port call in Honolulu, and were able to sort out some repairs and stock up on essential supplies, along with survival items such as chocolate! Our time in port also allowed both sets of Expedition 320 and 321 scientists to get together and discuss their science on this joint 320-321 science program.

The JOIDES Resolution left Honolulu at around 5 am on the 9th May, and we’re currently en-route to the first drill site. It should take approximately a week to get there as we have a couple of thousand miles to travel. All the Science Party have now started working on their allocated shift times. I have to admit that it has been a challenge moving to my allocated shift time of midnight to noon. At the moment, we are working on processing the last core collected from U1336 on Expedition 320. This is a great exercise for when we get our first ‘core on deck’ – and should mean that our core processing goes very smoothly.

The accommodation on the ship is very nice. My cabin is situated on the main deck at the very front, so I generally get rocked to sleep by the vessel’s movement. Now and again a strong wave hits the side of the ship and makes such a loud bang that it wakes me up with a jolt. However, I’m sure with time I’ll get used to it.

Well that is all for now. Better get back to work getting everything prepared for when we reach our first site and do some logging.