Port Call: Darwin, Australia

Leg 180 officially began with the first line ashore in Darwin, Australia, at 1630 hr on 7 June 1998. All times reported in the Leg 180 operations reports in this volume are local time (UTC + 10 hr). As soon as the ship was cleared through customs and immigration, the process of on- and offloading immediately began. Normal tasks of on/off loading surface and air freight took place. Among the major items off loaded were 22 boxes of core, twelve 9 1/2-in drill collars, twelve 6 3/4- in drill collars, SDS hammer drill hardware, 16 joints of 13 3/8-in flush joint casing, and a hard rock base with gimbal and 20-in casing hanger. Major items loaded included twenty 8 1/4-in drill collars, 41 joints of 16-in buttress casing, 8 joints of 20-in buttress casing. Bulk products included 30 metric tons of sepiolite drilling mud, 15 metric tons of bentonite gel mud, and 1250 sacks of blended cement all taken aboard via pneumatic trucks. In addition, 130 sacks of Kwikseal and 40 sacks calcium carbonate lost-circulation material were put aboard, along with an assortment of chemicals required for optimizing the cement program at proposed site ACE- 8A. Among other activities, Ocean Drilling, Ltd. (ODL) loaded the new anchor windlass motor and had the port side forward (No. 2) life raft refurbished during the port call. The ship took on 1034 metric tons of marine diesel fuel (low sulfur gas oil) and we topped off the drill water tanks.

Drilling Services Department personnel attended the port call to install a new shipboard inventory system as well as to meet with potential contractors reviewing the existing "passive" heave compensator system in preparation for bidding on conversion to an "active" system. Off-going Science Services Department personnel remained in port to train new physical properties and paleomagnetics laboratory marine specialists and to provide introductory training to scientists and technical staff for the new split-core multisensor track that was installed during Leg 179. Tours of the ship were given to ~100 geologists and students on the third day of the port call.


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