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Jersey to Scilly

I joined Gambo for another short voyage, this time from the Channel Islands to the Isles of Scilly. The plan was to carry out some swath bathymetry off the islands looking for any potential glacial features (see figure) before she returned to Aber once more. After waiting around Jersey for favourable winds to help us make the crossing, four of us left St Helier early on the 20th – Nolwenn, James, Helen and myself. We set off in pretty miserable conditions, and while we had bad visibility we had to keep a careful watch to avoid collision courses with the many tankers about. Fortunately the weather cleared overnight and the next morning we had excellent conditions as we sailed along the Cornish coastline.

James, who had a fairly intimate knowledge of the Scillies, chose us an excellent anchorage off St Agnes when we arrived midway through Thursday afternoon. After a swim ashore we had relaxing walk round the island, picking up some crabs for our supper on the way.

Before we could collect any decent data the swath system needed to be calibrated, so we spent much of Friday setting the transducers up on the side of the boat and scanning some calibration lines near our anchorage. That evening we headed northwards, dropping anchor off St Martins in preparation for our proposed survey area. By coincidence, James’ mother had also sailed to the Scillies that day so Helen cooked us all up a great vegetable curry on Gambo.

Unfortunately I had to leave early the next morning for the INQUA conference in Bern, so left Nolwenn, James and Helen to complete the scanning. Watch this space for any results we get.

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