Transit to Test Site
Before proceeding to the first location of the leg, the ship was required to make a small diversion to a site off Albany in southwestern Australia. This was done in order to perform acceptance testing of the newly installed active heave compensator and the Fusion rig instrumentation system. The brief testing period also allotted additional time for crew familiarization with the new systems. The 401-nmi journey was completed at an average speed of 9.6 kt in calm seas and under fair skies.
Test Site: Albany, Western Australia
The 1-day testing program began at 0615 hr on 23 November with the deployment of the beacon in ~285 m of water. Once the vessel stabilized over the beacon, the active heave compensator and the Fusion rig instrumentation were tested during mock coring exercises. Tony Muir, the Maritime Hydraulics Pte, Ltd., representative, demonstrated the seafloor landing capabilities of the active heave compensator for the drilling crew during hands-on training exercises. John Grow, the Ryan Energy Technology, Inc., representative, introduced the features and demonstrated the operation of the rig floor display to both drilling crews.
The testing exercise was completed in the early hours of the next morning. Once the drill string and beacon were recovered, the vessel sailed ~22 nmi to a prearranged rendezvous point between Breaksea Island and Bald Head at the mouth of Albany harbor. The M/V Avon came alongside at 0745 hr; Tony Muir, John Grow, Derryl Schroeder from the Ocean Drilling Program/Texas A&M University (ODP/TAMU), and Stefan Stan (representing Siemens) boarded the Avon. By 0800 hr on 24 November, the JOIDES Resolution was under way at full speed to the first site of Leg 187.
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