Hello and Goodbye from Africa

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It is tuesday, February 22nd, and I am sitting in the Cape Town airport getting ready for my twenty-hour flight back to Boston.   It is hard to believe that a week ago the Melville was steaming at five knots, sixty miles west of Cape Town on a course to time our arrival in the wind shadow of Table Mountain at exactly 0700.  The Captain does not like to arrive late to port after being at sea for 37 days.

On Wednesday morning the entire ship was awake early in anticipation of our arrival.   Even before I got to the deck I knew we were near land.   Everything smelled differently.   The air had a smell of decomposing kelp and other things organic, a big change from the smell of sea spray mixed with a hint of diesel fuel. Continue reading

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Final Questions from the Epiphany School

Howdy!  Here’s some more questions from the kids. – Katie
1. Have you found any animals/organisms or results that were surprising?

No real surprises, but lots of great data was collected on the cruise.   One of the the major objectives of the cruise was to confirm that the Great Belt as seen from satellites really was due to massive numbers of coccolithophores.  This has been confirmed.  We will know a lot more of the details as the data analysis is completed.    Please see Rebecca’s blog for more details on the major findings of the cruise. Continue reading

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Three Cats and a Kitten

Melville's Rudder Propeller

My daughter is the real engineer in the family, but she has often commented that I could have easily been an engineer in another life.  She is probably right, I love all things mechanical and I have spent the last thirty days talking to Chief Engineer Paul about the operational details of his ship.

The first thing that strikes me is the scale of the ships systems.   The ship is powered by three, sixteen-cylinder, Caterpillar diesel engines and one, eight-cylinder engine, affectionately referred to as Three CATS and a Kitten.   Each of Continue reading

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