Any port in a storm…

So we wrapped up successful coring operations at Site U1444 last night, pulled up the pipe overnight, and are now on our way to Visakhapatnam port (“Vizakh” for short), eastern India – huzzah!

We will arrive in the early hours of tomorrow morning (the 29th) and hope to get ushered into port as quickly as possible. We have a few last inspections to pass before we head into Indian waters (keep all your fingers and toes crossed…), but this should be the last hurdle in our quest for the monsoon-critical sediments we are all hoping for. Watch this space.

In the meantime, the weather has gone all to hell.

big Waves

After heading to bed at the respectable time of 2am last night, I was rudely awoken this morning at 7am-ish by an increase in motion and noise, which tells me that a) the thrusters have been pulled up and we’re no longer stationary, and b) the ocean swell had increased. After trying to go back to sleep unsuccessfully for about half an hour, I had to get up, take a sea-sickness pill (the first one in the last 10 days!), and go and eat a ginger biscuit from the galley. Clearly this did the trick as I managed to then sleep way past my alarm, shuddering awake only 15 minutes before cross-over at 11.30 am – uh oh!

So what’s up with the weather?

Well at this time of year the warm and wet summer monsoon winds from the south have reversed, bringing cooler and drier air from the north to most of India. However, if you’re in the Bay of Bengal, like us, or on the south eastern coast of India, this air from the north picks up moisture as it passes over the ocean which translates into rainfall further to the south. We haven’t had a whole lot of rain so far, but we are feeling the effects of this northerly wind, and the big depression to the south of us.

bad weather                        bad weather 2

[Hint: bright green lines = big winds, purple = bad; we are in the green circle in the LH picture, the red marker in the RH picture is Vizakh port]

Certainly not a good day for a BBQ or a spot of sunbathing on the “steel beach”.

wet picnic

[A soggy day on deck]

Anyway, it’s nothing too serious, and certainly nothing the JR can’t handle (she’s a sturdy girl!) but it does make report writing a bit more challenging. Nothing like staring at a screen while the ground moves underneath you to make you feel really awesome 😦

Hopefully we’ll soon by tied up in port and out of the swell, and then on to our next coring adventure!  Stay tuned.

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