21st September 2008 – 3rd November 2008

I am just starting my Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Travelling Fellowship (WCMT) to the USA. My project for 2008 is entitled “Preserving the UK’s deep-sea heritage“. Within the confines of the fellowship, I’m travelling the US, meeting scientists and hopefully forging future collaborations. A highlight of the fellowship is a 2 week research cruise in the Gulf of Mexico. I’ll be joining a team of US researchers on the R/V Nancy Foster, we’ve access to an ROV and we’ll be deploying landers with some of my equipment on it for almost a year. These opportunities do not come often!

So far, I’ve made it to the University of North Carolina Wilmington. The trip from the UK took a combined total of over 20 hours. By hour 24, I’d firmly planted my head on the bed of the motel where I’m staying for the next 9 days until I fly to Pascagoula to meet the ship. I’ll be there for 4 days prepping the lander equipment before we set sail on the 5th October. We return on the 16th, and after a few days I fly to Seattle to the Marine Conservation Biology Institute. That rounds up the trip!

Today, 24th September, I’m in Wilmington NC. I’ve been meeting up with Dr Steve Ross. Steve is the chief scientist of the cruise and we’re just formulating ideas and discussing the science that we’ll do in the Gulf of Mexico.

Trip map, click to view a full sized image.