Waiting on weather

Having many years ago been on cruises in the North Atlantic, in some pretty awful weather offshore Greenland in particular, it never occurred to me that now that I am working in the South China Sea that we would ever have to experience any significant weather problems, but this just shows how fickle marine geology can really turn out to be. When we got up this morning I discovered that in fact the weather situation had deteriorated to the point where the setting of the casing is no longer feasible because of the delicate operations involved and because the ship is moving up and down by several meters in the large swells generated by the strong north wind. This means we have now had to suspend our operations at this site and have to do something that does not require quite so much stability. In practice this means will now start using our piston core and do some shallow coring of younger sediments while we wait for the wind and waves to die down and allow us to continue to our primary objective which is drilling the igneous basement. The weather forecast suggests that this may go on for much of the weekend and we’re all hoping that at that point things settle down again and let us get back to our main job. Let’s hope so, but in the meantime at least we are making ourselves useful collecting the younger section which at least some people on the ship find to be quite fascinating, especially for paleo-climate studies.

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