ANT-XXVII/4, Weekly Report No. 3
8 May - 15 May 2011
During the whole week strong south-easterly winds and bad sea conditions prevailed. In spite of the bad weather, our research programme could be carried on. Even, surface water sampling continued with the rubber boat.
On May 10th we arrived in the morning the harbour of Las Palmas on the Canary Island as planned. On the pier 16 new scientists were waiting for us to embark. Scientists already on board and crew took the opportunity to get to the land for about 3 hours. During this time the ship was inspected by the harbour authority (Port State Control). The IMO rules extended since January 1st, allow the harbour authorities to control foreign ships for their safety standards referring to personal on board and environmental regulations. RV Polarstern successfully passed the inspection without any claims or remarks. According to the Spanish inspector, Polarstern could be taken as example in this respect. AWI and scientists would like to take this opportunity to thank to the crew and the shipping company Laeisz for their excellent support and services provided for the ship to obtain and maintain this safety standard.
At 16:00 local time Polarstern left Las Palmas with 32 scientists on board and supplied with fresh fruit and vegetables. The cruise continued to Bremerhaven passing by a test field for hydroacoustics. A large group of scientists from AWI had embarked in Las Palmas to carry out a training programme for early career scientists and students. The transfer cruises of Polarstern are frequently used for training purposes and system’s calibration, development or tests. Actually there are 3 engineers on board from the companies Atlas Hydrographic (Germany) and Hypack (USA), testing new hard and software for the multibeam sonar “Hydrosweep DS III”.
On May 12th at about 11:00 UTC we arrived in the test area at the location 34° 58’ N 12° 55’ W in international waters and carried out the planned profile. We left the area at 21:00 UTC after having successfully completed the test programme. With course to Cape Finisterre we continued our cruise in parallel to the Portuguese coast. We had to steam against strong north-easterly wind of 8 to 9 Bft from Friday to Sunday evening which decreased our cruising speed dramatically. Polarstern had to fight against high waves and so had the people on board. A rendezvous with the German research vessel Meteor, which actually operated nearby Vigo had to be cancelled due to the very bad weather conditions.
Our scientific programme will be completed in the next few days and we will return to Bremerhaven. Therefore, we would like to thank and to say good bye to our readers.
All on board are well and express their greetings.
On behalf of all on board
Saad El Naggar - Chief Scientist