Tuesday, 20 May 2014

What does it take to create a 10 year time series of ocean circulation? Saying thank you 240 times

Darren, Steve, Dave, Chris and Colin.  Between them they have spent 2,014
days at sea on RAPID cruises.  That is more than one year each!
(Photo: Ben Moat)
We are now into the last two weeks of our expedition on the RRS James Cook and if all goes well we will soon have retrieved the data that will complete the first decade of observations of the overturning circulation.  What has it taken to reach this milestone?    Darren has been scouring our reports to answer this question.

On board James Cook we have 22 officers and crew, 7 technicians, 5 scientists and 2 graduate students.  Thirty-six people in all.   But since the start of the project a staggering total of 240 people have participated in UK-RAPID research cruises.   Thirty of these were students gaining their first experience of research at sea and 13 were visitors from other research centre with whom we collaborate.   With a total of 533 ship-days at sea this represents about 30 man years of work at sea.

Many of those who have sailed with RAPID have completed one cruise (141 people) or two cruises (43 people) and 49 have done three or more cruises.  But there are seven individuals who have been to sea many times for the RAPID project, between them they have done almost as many RAPID cruises (121 person-cruises) as all the other technicians and scientists put together (139 person-cruises)  Everyone who has sailed has contributed to the success of the program but the expertise and commitment of these seven has been outstanding.

The RAPID project Magnificent Seven are:

 - Dave Childs and Steve Whittle have been on 16 cruises each.
 - Stuart Cunningham, Colin Hutton, Rob McLachan and Darren Rayner have sailed 17 times
 - Chris Crowe tops our chart and is currently sailing on his 21st RAPID cruise

Thank you to everyone who has sailed with us, all 240 of you!

RAPID is a collaboration between the UK and the US.      This post is about the UK cruises and UK personnel on US ships only.    We are equally grateful to all our American colleagues but don't have all the information for their personnel.


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  2. Outstanding work folks, hard to believe it's been 10 years since RAPID began - those early days setting out from Santa Cruz de Tenerife don't seem so long ago.

  3. Its so stressful - everyone has gone bald!