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08 Sep - Magnus Field arrival

Date:  Sunday 8th  September 2002
Position @ 1200 (UTC): 59°44'N 001°34'E
Wind:  NE'ly x 13kts
Barometric pressure:  1013.5 mb.
Sea state:. Moderate
Air temperature:  16.9°C.
Sea temperature: 15.2°C.
Cloudy and clear,  moderate NW'ly swell

No Ship's Position reports are available during our stay in the N.Sea since we cease doing Met.observations.

image hereClick on map to magnify detail.

On arrival in the Magnus Field on Monday morning,  the weather had deteriorated and with winds of about 30-35kts and  a very large swell and the vessel was pitching heavily at times.

This meant that the conditions were not suitable for launching the Solo ROV,  and so the intention was to wait on  weather (referred to as WOW) until conditions improved.

With a charterers crew change also due later in the week,  there was the possibility that later on Monday the ship would head for Lerwick,  but with a change in the weather in the early evening conditions eased and the ROV was launched and the survey work commenced.

With the weather conditions improving  during the week,  the crew change took place on Thursday afternoon with a helicopter coming out to us from Bergen,  Norway.

Helicopter about to land on the Ernest Shackleton - Click to enlarge A Helikopter Service,  Bergen,  Super Puma aircraft about to land on the Ernest Shackleton,   with the Magnus Platform in the background.  Note the almost perfect sea state.

During the course of the survey work undertaken, there have been many chances to watch the aquatic life on the seabed,  at depths from about 20m to nearly 500m.  The range of fish spotted has been large,  along with crabs,  lobsters,  starfish etc.

Also on Thursday an angler fish was spotted,  sitting on the seabed and not at all concerned at the presence of the Solo ROV.

These are large fish that are well concealed and wait on the seabed for fish and bigger invertebrates.  They have  a 'fishing rod' and 'bait' and touching of the bait causes a snapping reflex,  which has on occasion provided angler fish with larger prey (and once recorded a brass tea-tray!).


A monkfish - Click to enlarge

With the head removed,  the tails are a valuable catch,  termed 'Monk',  hence the monkfish.

All being well the final survey work is due to be completed later today and then there will be an 18 hour passage to Aberdeen,  with an ETA of Monday afternoon.  On arrival demobilisation will start,  with all the survey equipment removed.

8th  September 2002