Went to Plymouth yesterday to meet the students on the MSc Hydrography course. As an external examiner I need to meet them to find out how the course is going. I deliberately visited them during their field week.
I spent the morning on Catfish, the university's catamaran.
There are 13 students on the course and they were split into 3 groups, two shore-side and one afloat at any one time. The aim is to give all students experience of the tasks involved in a small, simple hydro survey. They've only been on the course 6 weeks and are on a very steep learning curve. I witnessed the bar check
and sounding lines (only single echo beam this time round). I may go back in the Spring, though, when they install multibeam for a session.
Great excitement on my part was spotting my favourite ship, HMS ENDURANCE . I spent 7 weeks on her in 1995 including a 3 week stint on South Georgia. I thought she'd already gone south for the season but obviously not. Mind you, she only appeared, passed the break water, dropped someone off (?) and disappeared again. It is unusual to see her at sea with her lynxes on. They are usually at RNAS Yeovilton....or in her hanger.
Catfish dropped me off, I met a lecturer for lunch, and then caught up with a group of students using RTK GPS for coastlining. Their first time so there was lots of explaining to do.
I felt really sorry for them. They'd been out in the rain since 0930 whilst I'd been on the (dry) boat and just had a hot lunch and copious amounts of steaming tea in a cafe. Ah, the perks of external examiners!