21 January 2021, 7H AM: Durban, a turbulent stopover

To tell the truth, we didn’t enter the port of Durban (South Africa), but we stayed offshore, about 4 km from the entrance to the port. The reason for our stopover was the essential need to retrieve the work equipment of Heather and Tommy, our South African colleagues, equipment that had become stuck on the Durban wharf due to COVID-19.

The imposing Marion Dufresne and a small barge equipped with two sailors and loaded with the equipment met off shore. A balancing manoeuvre ensued, which consisted of the two ships advancing side by side (at about 6 km/h), the two crew members of the barge hung the bags and pallets on the crane hoist, the crane operator of the Marion hoisted them on board to put them on the platform. Just reading it, the manoeuvre already doesn’t seem so simple. But to spice things up, the waves were 2 to 3 metres high!

The little barge was pitching and rolling, the sailors were shaken and even falling, the crates were rocking (hard) at the end of the crane line, and of course Heather’s heart was pounding… finally everything on board was disinfected and the incubators were installed and are already up and running. The whole operation was completed in an hour, an intense manoeuvre that left a lasting impression!

Scientific equipment is transferred on-board RV Marion Dusfresne. @ Tommy Ryan-Keogh

More news

8 March 2021: The last day

At 9h20 this morning, the RV Marion-Dufresne makes its grand entrance into the West Port of Reunion Island. Slightly tricky maneuver, neither the entrance nor the dock are very wide. Slowly, the quay gets closer.  Once connected to the shore, the loop is complete. A current of emotions, hugs, the last ones before returning to […]

4 March 2021: The scientific command post and the cruise chief scientists

Very little mention has been made to the scientific command post so far and yet it is one of the ship’s neuralgic centers, especially for the scientists (and Martin). It is from the command post that the controls for lowering, raising and closing the rosettes start, it is from the command post that the strategic […]

3 March 2021: Nostalgia and grace

Last night we crossed the 40th parallel, this time the gateway to the famous eponymous roars. In the wake, a few white-chinned petrels, a sooty one and our faithful Serge, this great albatross who has been following us for a long time… it doesn’t matter to us whether it’s him or a cousin, his name […]