Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Departed today!

After all the final checks were made (and a final emergency shopping trip for our unfortunate Chilean observer who had lost her luggage!), we departed from Montevideo at 1 p.m. today. Our pilot navigated the ship through the narrow channel out of the port, and we are now steaming towards the science area. Safety is of paramount importance on our vessel, so an emergency muster drill was held this afternoon, with scientists and crew donning their life jackets and trying out the lifeboats. We have a science meeting this evening to discuss the work schedule, so we’ll keep you updated with that tomorrow.

                     Final day in Montevideo

Pilot boat departing
Ben and some liquid nitrogen

Xinfeng and Alberto
 We wouldn't want to spend any time in the lifeboat!

We have already been really impressed with the number of page visits to our blog, with hits from the UK, US, Belgium, Canada, France and Germany. Welcome to all our DIMES friends worldwide!

Monday, 30 January 2012

Arrival in Montevideo

After long flights from the UK and US, the scientists have converged on Montevideo in Uruguay where our research ship, the RRS James Cook, is in dock. We stayed in a hotel last night but will have set to work in earnest today. There are boxes and containers of equipment to check and unpack, laboratories and computers to set up, cabins to be assigned and the crew to meet before our scheduled departure on Tuesday. The weather is currently hot and sunny in Uruguay, though we expect the temperatures to drop quickly as we set sail for the science area far to the south. Here are a few pictures of Uruguay and the science party’s arrival:

 Arriving at the ship
 Uruguayan cattle

 Vintage cars are everywhere...
 Along the coast from Montevideo
 View of the city from our hotel

Sunday, 29 January 2012


Welcome to the cruise blog for the third UK DIMES (Diapycnal and Isopycnal Mixing Experiment in the Southern Ocean) cruise. DIMES is a US-UK field programme designed to understand the magnitude and mechanisms of water mixing in the Southern Ocean. Determining these processes and their effect on the Meridional Overturning Circulation (MOC) is important if we are to understand the role of the ocean in the climate system and its sensitivity to future climate change.

This blog, managed by Katy Sheen and Alex Brearley at the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton, will document the important scientific fieldwork being conducted on the this third UK cruise, including the highs and lows along the way. We will introduce some of the scientists onboard, the work they do and the equipment they use. We will hopefully have some great photographs to show as well!

As an initial disclaimer, the views expressed in this blog are reflective only of the contributors and should not necessarily be taken to be representative of any of the research institutes participating in DIMES or the funding agencies (NSF and NERC) supporting the work.

We hope you enjoy learning about the work we are doing.

Alex and Katy