JC180: Locked and loaded

24 April 2019

With less than 24 hours to go until the RRS James Cook departs, the team are busy loading all the equipment onto the ship, which is moored in the dock outside the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton. The drill rig, drill pipes, remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Isis and all the sensor rigs are on board and safely secured in readiness for the journey north. This morning the enormous CO2 gas tanks were craned onto the back deck of the ship, and the autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) Gavia was also loaded a few hours ago. With all the major equipment on board, scientists are now checking that they have all the smaller items of kit they need for the work on board: computers, lab equipment, batteries, backup drives, spare parts…and of course their own belongings for a month at sea!

Dockside at NOC: RRS James Cook is being loaded up with the kit for the expedition, which leaves tomorrow morning

The CO2 gas tanks are loaded onto the back deck of RRS James Cook

AUV Gavia being prepared for loading. The bespoke drill rig, made by Cellula Robotics, can be seen in the background

The loading and checking will continue for the rest of today, and then this evening the whole team will meet for a pre-expedition briefing before going out for a team dinner. The ship will depart the dock in Southampton early tomorrow morning, so everyone will sleep on the ship tonight in order to be ready for a smooth getaway in the morning.

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