Thursday, 21 August 2008

Welcome to the ASCLME Nansen Cruise 2008 Blog

Welcome to the 2008 cruise blog!

We will shortly be setting off on this pioneering voyage of discovery. We (Tommy Bornman begin_of_the_skype_highlighting     end_of_the_skype_highlighting and James Stapley) will endeavour to keep this blog up-to-date so you can follow the progress of the ship and what's happening on board. I'll be doing the first leg, from Durban to Mauritius, whilst Tommy will cover the other 3 legs.

The ship sets sail from Durban tomorrow. I will be joining the ship then, leaving home in Grahamstown at about 3am in order to get to the airport in time to make the 6:20am flight to Durban from Port Elizabeth. Tommy will also be travelling to Durban for a meeting - somehow, he managed to get on a flight at the rather more civilised time of 11am. The joys of last minute bookings!

Those of you who have been following the cruise for a while will probably know that we should have been at sea some time ago, indeed, the ship was originally scheduled to leave from Maputo last week. However, a number of problems on board the ship, including engine faults and even some leaky tanks, meant the R/V Dr Fridtjof Nansen had to spend some time in drydock being repaired, so the cruise is running behind schedule. At least now we're fairly confident the ship will make the entire voyage without sinking, which is certainly reassuring!

If you'd like to learn more about the cruise, be sure to check out the cruise page:
http://www.asclme.org/cruise2008/

Be sure to check back regularly; we will try to update the blog at least once a day with what is happening on board the ship; if at all possible, we will also upload photos every so often, although bandwidth on the ship is extremely limited.

If you have any questions about the research expedition or life on board the ship, please direct them to info@asclme.org and they will be passed on to us.

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Comments:
Well James, at a billion dollars a second internet, you ought to feel right at home if you've ever used Vodacom's prepaid data access ;P Have a great time guys, and all of the best! Leon Schnell
 
Hi Leon, Yes, I have indeed used Vodacom's ad-hoc data service in dire emergencies before through my cellphone at GPRS data rates (no 3G sadly).

Whilst I say "extremely limited", it's actually about 256k, but several ship services grab a portion of that bandwidth. The internet is slow, but probably about on par with GPRS. And it's always on! (Most research vessels, if they *have* internet, only have it for brief periods during the day).
 
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