From Clouds to Ocean Floor

Latitude: 61°24′ N
Longitude: 011°06′ W
Time: 19:00 GMT
by Chris Lindemann, aboard the FS METEOR

Today we paid a visit to the meteorological station on board, operated by the German Weather Service (Deutscher Wetter Dienst, DWD). DWD releases helium-filled weather balloons to measure atmospheric temperature, humidity and pressure high above our heads.

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On location

Latitutde: 61°30′ N
Longitude: 011°00′ W
Time: 0600 GMT
Water temp.: 8.6 degree C
by Ivo Grigorov, EURO-BASIN Project Office

The sun sets over TARA`s mission, as FS METEOR settles in the sampling area for the next 4 weeks.©Vincent Hilaire, TARA Oceans

As, the TARA Sailing Vessel has wrapped up its TARA Oceans two-and-half-year mission, and ‘Abyss’ film director and National Geographic Explorer, James Cameron, has become only the third man to reach the deepest part of the ocean, diving to the Mariana Trench, FS METEOR settles in the ‘Deep Convection’ sampling area south-west of the Faroe Islands.

Seniour scientist aboard, Michael St John, says: ‘We have arrived in pre-spring bloom conditions, still have deep convection and we have diapausing Calanus as desired! This is really exciting. The team works is well connected. The best cruise I have be on so far!’ (FS METEOR`s current position).
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The Atlantic stirs up

TARA position: N 44°00′, W 016°42
FS METEOR position:
N 53°30′, W 012°42′

Time: 02:00 GMT
by Ivo Grigorov, EURO-BASIN Project Office

Tara in 40 knot winds

40 knot winds hit TARA`s position, 300 n.miles west of Galicia, Spain, as FS METEOR steams north towards Deep Convection sampling station.

As FS METEOR leaves the position of the TARA320 nautical miles west of Galicia, Spain, and head north towards the sampling area, TARA hits 40-50 knots winds. The low atmospheric depression was not only expected, but wished for.

TARA is currently wrapping up her last station of the 2.5 yrs TARA OCEANS Expedition before entering the port of Lorient, France, on 31 March.
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A “dry” run

Latitude: 49°24′ N
Longitude: 013°30′ W
Time: 18:00 GMT
Weather: warm Sea state: calm
Station: Test Station
by Chris Lindemann, DTU-Aqua

At 18:00 we arrived at Test Station. Because we had to unravel the 4 000 meter long winch wire on the after-deck, we needed to choose a very deep station. Due to the good weather conditions, we could test some other gear too. First we verified that the Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV) is well balanced and can maintain a stable flight when submerged. Continue reading


Latitude: 45°18′ N
Longitude: 013°06′ W
Time: 09:00 GMT
by Ivo Grigorov, from the EURO-BASIN Project Office

Stéphane Pesant, Chief Scientist on the last TARA Oceans Expedition, and collaborator on the EURO-BASIN "Deep Convection" Cruise
© Vincent Hilaire, TARA Oceans

This morning, on its way to the sampling location north of the Faroe Islands, FS METEOR passed just 200 nautical miles east of TARA`s position. The 36 meter, two-mast sailing vessel is on its last oceanographic mission of the TARA OCEANS expedition, and performing one the last experiments on that mission.

The Chief Scientist, Stéphane Pesant contacted FS METEOR via email to inform the scientific party of his plans. Although the two vessels will sample different parts of the North Atlantic, the objective is the same: arrive before the spring phytoplankton bloom and observe the transition from winter to spring.
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All hands on deck

Latitude: 42°11` N
Longitude: 011°44` W
Time: 15:00 GMT
by Chris Lindemann

Linda Holste from University of Hamburg engrossed by the multiple closing zooplankton nets.
© Chris Lindemann (DTU-Aqua)

2ndday on the Atlantic: Today the sun greets us on another day of preparations. With little wind and hardly any waves, it almost feels like a summer cruise, although we are heading north towards a chosen location to test the gear.

Before the final preparations of all the equipment, we meet in small teams to determine everyone`s needs for samples and laboratory space. Making sure everyone gets the samples volumes they need, with the right equipment and at the time of day, or night, is like fitting together a complex jigsaw.
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Setting sail for rough weather

Latitude: 38° 44` North
Longitude: 009° 9` West (Lisbon Harbour)

by Mike St John, Seniour Scientist aboard FS METEOR

After two days of loading FS METEOR, the scientific crew stayed on board for the first night. A good breakfast this morning at 7:30 started a day of setting up and reorganising the different laboratories. Almost everything is in place now. Continue reading

Last minute preparations

Welcome to the Deep Convection Cruise Blog!

As you read this message, final preparations are under way on the FS METEOR before sailing to the North East Atlantic, on Monday, 19th March at 8am.

FS Meteor in the port of Lisbon, just hours before departure.

For the duration of the 6 weeks cruise we will regularly keep you informed of life aboard and the context of the research done aboard.

We have just been contacted by the TARA Sailing Vessel on its “TARA Oceans” expedition across the North Atlanitc, and the two research vessels will coordinate efforts where possible on studying the onset of the spring phytoplankton bloom.

We look forward to an exciting cruise, and hope you will join us regularly.

From the blog editors
Linda Holste, aboard the FS METEOR &
Ivo Grigorov, from the EURO-BASIN Project Office

TARA Oceans