At 1300 hr Wednesday 15 October 1997, we passed the last line ashore and headed out of Table Bay, Cape Town harbor. At 1346 hr, we discharged the pilot and got under way at full speed for Site 735.

Rough seas rounding the Cape of Good Hope, strong headwinds, and the effects of the Agulhas Current slowed our transit; however, we ultimately accomplished the 2003 nmi transit to Site 735 in 9.0 days at an average speed of 9.3 kt. Propulsion motor P-17A was taken off line during the transit due to armature damage when a field coil failed. The engineers rebuilt the unit while on site, and it was placed back on line prior to our departure for Cape Town. We were also forced to reduce speed for approximately 1 hr using manual steering and magnetic compass for heading when an emergency generator test caused a malfunction of the Automatic Station Keeping (ASK) system. This system is linked to the ship's gyro compass. The problem was ultimately traced to a dead cell in the ASK backup battery bank. Subsequent system testing was successful once the bad battery was replaced. Besides routine Preventative Maintenance System (PMS) tasks, the installation of a rig-floor waste collection system was completed during the transit and efforts continued on the installation/testing of a new waste burning incinerator system required for the forthcoming Antarctic expeditions.

We arrived on location Friday, 24 October 1997, and at 1345 hr, the first positioning beacon was dropped using the 10-yr-old Satellite Navigation (SatNav) coordinates (32°43.395'S Latitude, 57°15.959'E Longitude) for Hole 735B.

To 176 Site 735B

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