In early July the RRS Sir David Attenborough set sail from Edinburgh to the North Sea to conduct sea trials ahead of its maiden science cruise in Nov-Dec: BIOPOLE Southern Ocean Cruise 1 which will be led by Andrew Meijers! Hugh Venables (BAS) is part of the trials team for its duration (until mid-August), providing expertise on the CTDs and autonomous platforms (including gliders). Nadine Johnston (BAS) also joined for the first few days of the trials, taking the opportunity to step through some net deployment logistics (to collect zooplankton), including deployment of the mammoth net (which will be trialed through the ship’s ‘moonpool’).
These few days included the first ever media trip at sea to show journalists the science capability of the ship, to highlight the science it will do this season for BIOPOLE, as well as a trial of a new Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO). The ships officers and crew (and media) also came along to a presentation on BIOPOLE. Fortuitously, the officers and crew on board, ‘The Giants’ (named after an Antarctic dog sledging team), together with Captain Matthew Neill, will also be supporting our Nov-Dec cruise, so it was a fantastic opportunity to familiarize them with our programme and its goals. If the HVO trials are successful, there is a high possibility that our science cruise will be powered by HVO – but the decision is yet to be made – fingers crossed!
Coverage by the media (including BIOPOLE) include articles in Carbon Brief, The Times and New Scientist (these are both behind a paywall), and Shipping Technology Magazine. There is also a New Scientist video on You Tube. Many thanks to everyone involved, great to see the BIOPOLE flag flying!