Week 3

August 31, 2015

2800kms of seabed surveying completed so far

Second Officer Scott McColl assesses daily ice information and imagery from the bridge of CCGS Sir Wilfrid Laurier

Having skirted around heavy ice concentrations that had collected on the north side of the Royal Geographic Islands, we were back at our anchorage location in Victoria Strait by breakfast this morning. Skies were cloudy, winds were light at 10 knots, and the seas were mildly sprinkled with small pieces of ice being carried by the strong currents in the area.

All assets would be used today. Our helicopter and a CCG crew were dispatched first this morning to a nearby unnamed island to complete maintenance on a Racon tower. On deck, our boatswain coordinated the deployments of Investigator, Gannet and Kinglett in quick succession. Once done, we lowered the Laurier's multibeam sonar system and raised her anchor to begin our own survey lines.

CSL Gannet being deployed from the deck of CCGS Sir Wilfrid Laurier

Winchman Peter Lange at the controls of CCGS Laurier's massive 21-ton derrick

Following lunch, the helicopter transported CHS staff to an unnamed island to set up a ground GPS station and conduct levelling and water level observations. This information will be used to correlate the data being collected from the deployed water level gauges to the sounding data being collected by the survey vessels. From here onwards, these will be late nights for the survey teams. The window for work in the Arctic is tight, so teams will be taking advantage of every opportunity to maximize their survey bathymetric of the area.

The Laurier anchored about 8:00 pm local time about 15 nautical miles west of Erebus Bay shortly after the last boats returned from their long day. As of today's end, the amount of multibeam surveying done by the ship and the boats we carry were: CCGS Laurier 761.4 km; CSL Kinglett 978.3 km; CSL Gannet 816.6 km; and R/V Investigator 241.4 km. The Royal Canadian Navy Maritime Coastal Defence Vessel (MCDV) HMCS Moncton is also currently conducting hydrographic surveys and we're already looking forward to our rendezvous later this week.

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