Probing the Australian-Pacific Plate Boundary (Pt 6: A race against time in sub-Antarctic waters)

The furious fifties have certainly lived up to the acclaim they received. We have had to change our plan of voyage multiple times, and have lost precious time due to heaving-to the vessel to a favorable position with respect to the wind and swell direction, and on the lee side of the Macca island. The swell has constantly been between 4-6 m, and the speed of wind between 50 and 80 km/h, with occasional gusts over 100 km/h. We spend most of the time during the night shift in the operations lab; the feeling is like being in an acoustic chamber in which the sound of the water mass – when a big one hits the ship – is not very different from an exploding bomb. Movements caused by the ocean are constant and violent, but most of us have developed “sea legs” and are able to cope with it. Well, most of the time.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at