Day 10 Exmouth – Geraldton

Chief Officer Dirk talking about compass error

Latitude; 28°04.9’S

Longitude; 113°4.6’E

Distance run in the last 24hrs; 162.4NM

Average speed; 6.7KN

After the excitement of the buoy deployment it is back to business as usual with the morning meetings followed by happy hour. Captain Ross gives a lecture in meteorology, which is aptly chosen with the information that “Investigator” the weather buoy will be collating.

As an addition to deploying the weather buoy’s we also send in weather observations to BOM (bureau of Meteorology) every six hours. At 1200 Third officer Nick, kindly talks me through the observations and explains what information we send over to BOM and the format in which it is sent. The information is sent in code format and the idea was originally developed by Captain Fitzroy from the HMS Beagle. Fitzroy was the instigator for collating weather observations to get an understanding of weather patterns and piecing certain weather traits together to be able to forecast the weather. Fitzroy retired from his career at sea in 1851, where he was then appointed Meteorological Statist to the Board of Trade, from here he loaned vessels meteorological equipment so that they could observe the weather and send the information back in a coded formulation. The coded formulation is still used today, although we now have computers that generate the code automatically to be sent back to the meteorologists. The weather data that we collate and send is; station’s position (latitude & longitude), vessel’s course, speed and course made good, wind direction and force, Wind wave frequency & height, swell systems, direction and period, Barometric pressure including correction to sea level, Barograph reading & barometric trend, Air temperature (wet & dry) and surface icing, Sea temperature and relative humidity, present weather, past weather (last three hours), Specific
present weather conditions (precipitation, haze, fog & cloud visibility), cloud types, total cloud cover and the name of the observer. So there is quite a substantial amount of information being relayed back, which will be used in a database of information to look into climate changes and other such research.

Cindy and Nick all smiles on the helm

Today is relatively sunny and warm in comparison to the last few days but unfortunately we are still required to motor along as the winds are still against us, but the sea swell
has kept down. The afternoon is spent practicing knots and First Officer Dirk gives a talk on compass error using the azimuth readings.

In the morning we wake to find that we have made good time over the night, which must have something to do with speed and direction of the Leeuwin current.   We are heading for the Houtman Abrohols Islands where the famous Batavia ship was shipwrecked in 1629. With our current speed we should expect to arrive at 1500.

All’s well.