You want to make God laugh? Tell him about your plan

We’re finally underway, some 50 nautical miles southeast of Sri Lanka, and something that’s quickly become apparent is that when at sea only a plan that can change is a good plan.

It’s our intention to sail for the 90E ridge and collect some gravity cores and perform a CTD cast (more on this later) so our resident paleo-climatologists can have some fun. As we sat in port we schemed, and plotted tracks, and thought, hey, we have more than enough time to do this great work. However, the fuel barge was late (because it runs on island time we were told) so we left port about 4 hours after scheduled. Then as we made a left turn around the corner of the island a cross current reduced our ship speed from a planned 11.5 knots to 9 knots for about 4 hours and we’re still unable to do more than 10.8-10.9kts.

None of this is a deal-breaker of course, but the only certainty here is change. We’re keeping an eye on the ETA to our next way point and constantly readjusting what we expect we’ll have time to do. Ship time is a valuable commodity in science. As conditions change we try to peer into the future, we adapt with an eye on how to use this limited resource in the most impactful way, that is at least, until the next unexpected curveball.

Diego Melgar