The bright blue ocean with all its charms and threats is calling.
There were a number of little challenges to overcome before departure, from refuelling (bunkering) to fixing the occasional sensor, but amazingly they all got done in time. It was quite exciting for us not to get held back by island time (it's a real thing, believe me).
We had a pilot on-board to guide us through the gap in the reef, which was a pretty narrow gap. So we were very glad to see the reef pass us by. There is a ship a few kilometres further up that was trapped on the reef, a good reminder of the importance of careful seamanship. In a very Pirates of the Caribbean kind of way.
I'm on the 8am-4pm shift, which is about as cushy as life gets on a ship, and I'm looking forward to seeing some new and exciting underwater features that no one's ever seen before!
The photos below are of the harbour and, most importantly, the mess! With some very very good food.
We have another day of steaming ahead of us and then we'll arrive at the Ontong Java Plateau, our area of study, at about 4am the next day. So we've got a good few days to get settled in, find our way around and get washing done! Then it's onto the science.