SUB1 Log 1 - July 21st

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  Most of the scientific team arrived Wednesday night and for many it a reunion of old friends who are veterans of many research cruises. While I am the only one on board who is having a 'first time' research experience, I discovered that one of the scientists in our group - Dr Ameur Cherif from Tunisia - is enjoying for the first time the possibility to apply his techniques in real sea conditions. However there is a good mixture, of young and experienced researches, while several of the other scientists, have only been on two or three cruises, one told me he is scheduled to go to the Artic, at the beginning of August, while others have recently been to the Antarctica. We proceeded to dinner at about 9:30PM, the standard here in the South of Italy. Just a block away is a famous restaurant serving not only Buffala mozzarella cheese but also Buffala meat (i.e. Buffalo). Everyone had a good time getting to know one another or catching up.

This morning we held our press conference at Villa Doria d'Angri. This is a very prestigious villa, one of Naples finest architectural landmarks, which was constructed in 1880 and is now owned by the University "Parthenope" of Naples.
Professor Giancarlo Spezie, representing the University "Parthenope", and President of the Council for Master studies in Environmental Science, welcomed us and thanked CIESM and its partners in taking an interest in "our Tyrrhenian Sea, a perfect marine science laboratory". Professor Bruno D'Argenio, the director of IAMC, CNR spoke about the importance of studying the marine ecosystems, that are strictly connected with the terrestrial ones and interact tightly with them and the air making the Earth functioning.

Professor Cesare Corselli, who is the President of CoNISMa, our partner overseeing the use of the R/V Universitatis, expressed his happiness with this new initiative by CIESM, and their involvement. He said, "The future of exploration is not outer space, but on our own planet, as 70% of the world surface is water. The Mediterranean Sea is an excellent microcosm to study the changes that are taking place globally".

Press Conference
Villa Doria d'Angri, University Parthenope, Naples

He feels that this new venture is important for launching the Mediterranean as a key area for studying oceanic trends and patterns (much more than other seas that have been over-explored during the recent decades). He also applauded the involvement of students onboard, who need to be motivated and will hopefully pursue those studies in the future ". In reply Dr Laura Giuliano, Scientific Advisor at CIESM, expressed warm words of thanks on behalf of the Director General of the Commission, before presenting in detail the scientific originality and purpose of this exploratory campaign, the very first organized by CIESM since the 1920s.

Naples at sunset just as we depart
It has been a very hectic day fraught with tension as several scientists waited for their equipment to arrive. Would it come on time or not ? This was the first order of business this morning ... nerve-wracking time. Then of course were all the numerous details with the customs, passports not to mention the delivery of the scientific equipment. When it did arrive, 5 tons in all, it had to be unpacked and installed. We are talking literally dozens of crates and boxes. We are set to leave the port of Naples at around 8:00 PM. Our first stop will be just outside Naples for an equipment check, then we head off overnight for the first testing station which will be point #7 on our map. We will have a 6:00 AM start, and then move to point # 6 by mid-day.

At least our team is somewhat more relaxed now that the worries over the equipment are behind, but then we almost had another crisis, as the beer delivery had not arrived; I was told that there are some excellent scientific methods of cooling beer. Well more tomorrow, this is Siri Campbell reporting from the CIESM SUB 1 cruise. Domanini.

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