Whale language, a penguin census and Skip Novak supported by Ocean Safety

Skip Novak has just wrapped up his latest Pelagic expedition in which he led a team of 10 scientists in tasks such as taking a penguin census with drones, taking ice core and water samples to monitor climate change, taking gas samples of the plumes of the volcanic craters, in addition to towing a hydrophone throughout the voyage logging whale sounds.  

The scientists from Oxford University, University College London, Cornell University, Bristol University and the University of Maine were taken to the remote South Sandwich Island chain in the Southern Ocean on board Skip’s sailing vessel Pelagic Australis. 

The island chain is a Specially Protected Area and managed by the government of South Georgia.  The waters surrounding the islands are a newly formed Marine Protected Area. 

During this international ‘South Sandwich Science Expedition’ each of the 14 team members were equipped with technical clothing and safety gear from Ocean Safety and Typhoon International.

The South Sandwich Islands are semi active volcanic features and each only a kilometre or two in diameter, so there is always a Southern Ocean swell running.  ‘Wet landings’ were the only way to get ashore as the breaking surf was too big to beach the Zodiac RIB safely. The kit keeping the island visitors protected in above image includes Typhoon’s Raptor 3mm Hoods and Yalu Side Zip personal flotation device.

Onboard safety equipment included Ocean Safety’s Kru Sport Pro 275 ADV lifejackets.

The breathable and fully waterproof Ezeedon dry suit from Typhoon kept the team members protected from the low sea temperatures, and the Surfmaster booties were invaluable for a sure footing on rocky beach landings.

The team, with their equipment in dry bags, had to jump-in above the surf line and then swim ashore in waters of 2°C or 3°C.  They were hauled back out by a continuous line system.

Penguins check out the visitors.

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