Day 28: They think its all is now!

There was a real flurry of activity on the ship yesterday as everyone dismantled their equipment and started the long process of clearing up after a month at sea.

Throughout yesterday load after load of boxes and metal cages full of samples was moved up out of the ship’s hold onto the deck ready to be lifted off by crane today.

When you see the piles of boxes and sample buckets you start to realise what a lot’s been achieved over the last month. We have terabytes of digital video of spectacular cold-water coral reefs and thousands of still images – it is a bit daunting to think how long it will take to process and analyse, we can be sure this expedition will be keeping us all busy for some time to come! But we didn’t just collect pretty pictures. The ROV worked hard gathering samples for experiments on board the ship to help us understand what implications ocean warming and acidification may have for the corals that build deep-sea coral reefs. We deployed ‘Jackson’ the Eddy lander system to measure oxygen consumption, and the first results look very promising. We used CTD, MVP and SAPS to understand the environment the coral ecosystems need. It’s this combination of taking measurements on the seafloor alongside experiments with corals on board the ship that will really help us understand how these ecosystems function.

Of course none of this would have been possible without the ship and her crew. On behalf of all the scientists on board we would like to thank the Captain, ship’s crew and all the engineers and technicians who have made the Changing Oceans Expedition such a productive and enjoyable experience.