It’s been a while since I’ve been to sea on a survey, but it looks as though tomorrow and Friday I’ll be on a fishing boat doing some video surveys. It’s essentially a training/supervisory gig, working with another scientist and a local fishing crew to see how feasible it might be for them to do survey work occasionally. After all, the core skills are almost identical, and they have a boat. It’s part of a pilot study, with some successful survey already undertaken down in Lyme Bay, so it will be interesting to see how it goes.
The aim isn’t for the fishing fleet to replace trained hydrographic surveyors and scientist, but simply to increase the potential capacity to collect data and fill in some of the big gaps in the oceanographic dataset. It would be suitable for some things (including collecting video data), but probably not others (such as multibeam bathymetry, which can be done from fishing vessels but would require a surveyor on board).
For my part, I’m just looking forward to being out on the water again, although it won’t be warm. I will be making a trip to the supermarket this afternoon to “fuel up” with high-fat, high-sugar snacks to stave off some of the shivers. There isn’t much to be done about the early start, though: 4am. Urgh. That, I don’t miss.