In an effort to cut down vibration, and allow biologists to use microscopes for example, R.R.S. Discovery used diesel electric propulsion with up to three diesel generators in the engine room supplying current to two electric drive motors aft. Her top speed was between 12 to 14 knots but on passage she would normally make 10 kts using two of the generators.
 At this time my Ph.D. subject had not been determined, but it had been suggested I might study foam streaks on the sea. The study of details of fluid flow would have been beyond my mathematical capabilities. Fortunately, by chance, I was later asked to swap to testing and use of the “Lo-cate” system for radiosonde balloon tracking, something which was much more within my skill set.
 Discovery was one of the first ships to be equipped with the Transit
satellite navigation system which utilised a ship-board atomic clock (a whole 19” rack of electronics), and the newly installed IBM 1800 computer.
 Ranked as extra-nummary officers, scientists dined in the Officers mess. In those days it was normal to be offered every dish on the multi-course menu. A revelation for a young student!
 This was long before digital photography. During the cruise I was using Ilford HP4 black and white negative film. The films were developed via a Chemists shop with the negatives were stored in paper folders that resulted in scratches and did not keep out dust. I’ve used photoshop to remove restore the images.
 Discovery had a square trucking extending from a hatch on the foredeck right down to a removable plate in the ship’s hull which was designed to allow a “asdic” (echo sounder ) to be mounted so that it protruded from the bottom of the hull, a very vulnerable location in shallow water! The photo (from a different cruise) shows the hull plate with the side scan sonar array beneath it on the foredeck of Discovery with the open asdic trunk visible behind.
The top of the asdic trunk was closed by a large, heavy hinged metal hatch. Some years later during decommisioning at the end of a cruise I was removing a longwave radiometer from the very top of the foremast. Suddenly there was a loud bang and the whole foremast started shaking violently while I clung on to mast and instrument. When I looked down to see what had happened the crew were looking up at me and laughing having “accidentally” allowed the hatch top to fall back against the base of the foremast.
 The “pinger” was a high frequency sound source used to locate instruments. My first involvement with the National Institute of Oceanography had been as a “summer student” employed in 1968 by Brian McCartney in the NIO acoustics lab on, amongst other tasks, testing the pinger scrolls, so I had some prior knowledge of them.
 the Beatles film. Films provided by the Mission to Seamen were the main entertainment on the ship, being shown twice a week, each time a double showing so that all watches could attend. These were real films, it was before the time of consumer video. The cinema was the ship’s library which was reasonably central and low down in the ship. However, the chairs were not fastened down and in the dark it was harder to balance, so when it was rough it was not unknown for the audience to find themselves sliding across the room and ending in a disorderly pile of people and chairs.
Photo of ship’s bow wave taken to show the formation of foam streaks.
Continuing the passage leg past the Iberian Peninsula; I settle into life on board a Research Cruise…
Sunday (25 Jan): We are off Portugal, 10 knots 1:cruising speed. Wind about force 5, sea much calmer, looks like a sunny day. Ship still rolls. Beautiful morning, took some foam photos 2:my PHD.
1200-1600: on PDR (echo-sounder) watch. First accurate satellite fix today 3:”Transit” system.
Evening meal: Salmon and Salad / Steak, mushrooms, egg and potatoes in batter /Apple pie and ice cream / banana …very good indeed! Beautiful in fact. 4:food at sea
Night sky is clear with a wealth of stars.
Dolphins, porpoise, or pilot whales?
Monday (26 Jan): Another sunny day, wind southerly [force] 5-6. During sunbathing morning a school of porpoise joined the ship, perhaps 20 to 30 playing in the wake and in the bow wave, one group inches from the bow. Their squeals and squeaks were audible in the air, and over the precision echo sounder both squeaks and clicks could be detected. They departed suddenly just before lunch.
Took some photos and completed the film, put in HP4 5:photography.
After lunch helped in the asdic compartment 6:the asdic trunk as Geof Morrison was fitting temperature recorders to hull. We have turned east for Gibraltar and are doing 11 knots, many ships around, mainly tankers. Boat drill at 1615hrs.
Pinger sound source hanging below a TSD instrument
Tuesday (27 Jan): Beautiful sunny day. Morning spent in the electronics lab. Sunbathing and afternoon tea on the boat deck until 1600Z then echo sounder watch until 2000. 2030: long evening in the bar began. We are off the Spanish Coast and there is an impressive mountain range. A number of small fishing boats around.
Wednesday (28 Jan): Average day – very sunny. Worked on pinger in morning and rewound the scroll 7:pingers. One pinger badly damaged in storm and needs a new crystal. Ship hove to in afternoon to test the TSD apparatus which now works after some fiddling. Saw “Help” 8:films at sea in evening.
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