Today we transit to our next site, away from Shag Rocks and towards a tiny part of the Scotia Ridge that rises steeply from deep water.
The actual place we are heading for does not poke out of the water; in fact, it’s about 300m at its shallowest part. The surrounding water is several thousand metres deep!
While we head towards this secret place, I poll a few of the crew associated with the NBP about some of their favourite times onboard. Since the ship was built in 1992 there have been many exciting and memorable moments.
Dave and Matt, Marine Technicians: Both instantly and definitively respond with “South Georgia 2011”. They are referring to their unexpected invitation to the island that came about through the last cruise we did to the Scotia Arc. It was an honour to be invited onto the island and even more so that they were treated with such hospitality. Their favourite moments include walking past a fully grown elephant seal disguised as a rock, visiting Shackleton’s grave, as well as arriving with clear skies and ideal weather between two harsh storms.
Barry, Electronic Technician: After trolling through his memory bank of many a past cruise, he recalls the heroic efforts of the staff and science crew who put work aside to aid in the rescuing of a burning Korean ship. Since the NBP was the closest to the scene, they were first to respond. Although 3 people passed away, it was with their aid that nobody else did. Using the zodiac, a rigidly inflatable boat, they managed to evacuate the remaining crew. Barry especially recalled a moment when they were transferring the mostly badly burned crewmember off the boat to a waiting helicopter. The panic in the injured man’s eyes was set aside after a thumbs up from Barry. A grin so large came across the injured man’s face that for the moment made him forget about his worries.