As I’m writing this, we’ve just finished our first-day onboard Research Vessel G.O. Sars.
Text: Julie Heggdal Velle, a researcher in marine geology. Geological Survey of Norway
Since we set out from Tromsø Saturday morning, we’ve been getting to know the ship and each other, as well as unpacking, setting up the labs, and preparing all the necessary equipment for sampling. However, most of the time has been spent out on the deck in the sun, watching the beautiful scenery of northern Norway go by. The first station was located west of the Lofoten islands, and our little “Hurtigruten” coastal cruise culminated with a midnight sun trip through the gorgeous Raftsundet strait.
The remotely operated vehicle (ROV) ÆGIR6000 facilitates data collection from the seafloor without moving from our comfy chairs in the instrument room. Amongst other things, this ROV can collect multibeam data and video footage, as well as retrieve targeted samples such as rocks or push cores using its manipulator’s arms. This opens up an amazing underwater world that we are now able to explore, map, and research.
Although we are extremely fortunate to work with this sophisticated ROV and its competent pilots and crew, we still rely heavily on one of the first skills we acquired as geologists; taking field notes. The “good old” notebook with its sketches, observations, and thoughts is still of great importance to us as researchers and helps us to stay organized both during and after the cruise.
Even with all this amazing technology and new methods available to us, we can’t retire the pencil and paper just yet.