Antarctic research ship the RRS James Clark Ross. Photo by Jack Kirby.
Today is our last day at sea after a truly terrific expedition. Like all of the very best expeditions, ours was highly ambitious, and at times it felt impossible. But we not only completed all of our targets; thanks to this extraordinary team, we exceeded them! This has been hugely successful and enjoyable deep-sea expedition.
We are coming home at the perfect moment, as today is World Ocean Day and also another key day at the UN Ocean Conference. For us ocean-lovers these global events are good news, and they have helped build an unprecedented level of awareness and smart actions in ocean conservation. This is indeed a sweet spot for the ocean, and we all feel that we are doing our bit. Just a quick reflection on the bare expedition statistics keeps us going as we file our reports, organize tons of cargo, and make our extensive onboard preparations for landing in Cape Verde tomorrow.
The numbers tell the story:
- An expedition science team of 21
- The ship’s team of 27
- 10 institutions
- One of the world’s finest research ships, the RRS James Clark Ross
- The St. Helena vessel, the mighty MFV Extractor
- 3,290 miles at sea
- 32 surveys of sea birds and flying fish
- 21 days of flying fish sampling
- 277 square kilometers of seamount summits mapped
- 330 square kilometers of bio-acoustic surveys
- 500 miles of on-passage swath surveys
- 7 species of sharks recorded
- 8 deep sea trawls
- 48 pelagic camera deployments
- 18 drop camera deployments = spending more time on the bottom of the sea than on the ship!
- 14 acoustic arrays deployed which will run for the next 5 years
- 21 camera lander surveys
- 18 CTD deployments
- 32 small CTD deployments
- 22 plankton net deployments
- 32 small plankton net deployments
- 39 sharks tagged with GPS / acoustic
- 8 tuna tagged with GPS / acoustic
- New species!
- 1 drone lost to the South Atlantic Ocean
- 1 jellyfish sting
- Enough sleep to survive
- Great food and lots of excellent tea!
The Pristine Seas team is currently conducting an expedition to the remote island of Ascension, in partnership with the Ascension Island Conservation Department, the British Antarctic Survey, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, and The Blue Marine Foundation.