25th – 28th Jan: To the Gulf of Lion

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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