Wednesday, 26 June 2013

The Indigo V expedition: a prototype for citizen oceanography. Drs Federico Lauro (UNSW) and Martin Ostrowski (Macquarie U)

Tonight (Weds 26th June. 6pm): Joint Academic Microbiology Seminars. The Australian Museum. Sydney

Tonight Federico and I will present the concept, science and experience of the first leg of the IndigoV expedition.

While there is an abundant excess of water in the Oceans, marine scientists encounter numerous difficulties in obtaining samples for research. This is particularly true for blue waters of the Southern Hemisphere because research voyages are expensive (> $100,000 per day) and there is fierce competition amongst scientists for ship time.

The IndigoV is a privately owned 18m sailing yacht that has been converted into a state-of-the-art, wind propelled, floating laboratory. The IndigoV expedition is a proof-of-concept to show that new, readily available, and relatively cheap technology provides almost anyone with the opportunity to undertake scientifically rigorous oceanographic sampling.

"We plan to raise awareness as to both the importance and the accessibility of ocean sampling, encouraging ships/ yachts of opportunity to get equipped and sample as they go. Every day there are thousands of manned vessels of opportunity that cruise the ocean and we hope one day to turn them into in situ marine microbe monitoring platforms!"

Tonight we'll discuss some of the highs and lows of the first Leg which departed Cape Town, South Africa, and sailed through high seas and foul weather in the Southern Indian Ocean to Mauritius. Despite gale force winds (~50 knots) and huge waves (11m) our 18m yacht successfully navigated to to out destination and proved that we could get science done along the way!

This is also an opportunity to thank the many people that have helped make the first leg a success, including crew, and generous shore supporters that were incredibly helpful:

Steve the electrical engineer;
Ed Rybicki, Dr Maya Pfaff and Prof. Maryna van der Venter and for Liquid Nitrogen;
Linda for an amazing brai at the Port Elizabeth Power Boat club;
Roy Finkelstein for the best fibreglass coolboxes in the Southern Hemisphere;
to name but a few...

Hope to see you at the Australian Museum tonight. If you can't make it check out the progress of the IndigoV expedition at <> or listen to the latest radio interview


The IndigoV tied up alongside Squid 'chokka' boast waiting for spares in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

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