Leg 177 began at 1130 hr on 9 December 1997 with the port call in Cape Town. The traditional joint ODP/ODL annual holiday celebration was held at the Capetonian Hotel the evening of 10 December. This year's festivities were combined with a retirement party for Captain Ed Oonk.

Replacement and repair work on communications, thruster, waste management, power generation, and lifeboat systems extended the port call to five full days. At 1315 hr on 14 December 1997, the port call ended with the last line ashore, and the vessel headed for Site 1088 (proposed Site TSO-2B), which is located about 444 nmi southwest of Cape Town. Because of relatively heavy weather, plans to approach the site along a reference seismic profile were abandoned and the approach was made directly based on Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates. The transit was accomplished in 56.5 hr at an average speed of 8.9 kt.

To 177 Operations - Site 1088

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