04 November 2016

Turn mechanical failure into snugness

This tale starts in the Celtic Sea. With RV James Cook we are trying to core the unforgiving sediments of this shelf sea. We use a vibrocorer which vibrates its way into the sediments; once it won't go any further the barrel is pulled up. A core catcher (a metal ring with uwards-pointing flanges) makes sure the sediment doesn't then fall out. Or rather; that is the idea.

The shape of the core catchers is supposed to only let sediment in, not out. But these sediments are so stiff they are not easily stopped. Many a time we found the core catcher flopped inside out, and at least part of the sediment lost. We sometimes used two core catchers at the same timel; quite often, even these would be found inside out.

An inside-out core catcher is no use, so we were invited to take some home as souvenirs. And I did! I figured they'd make fine candlesticks. And they do! So now I can enjoy the snugness of the Welsh autumn, lit by candles in reminders of my time at sea. Lovely!

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