Visiting the Bedford Institute of Oceanography

Our day set sail with a warm welcome for my former RBR colleague, Clark Richards, aboard our sailboat ‘Oceanolog’. It was a momentous occasion when I introduced him to my RBR concertoCTD measuring system, which now boasted state-of-the-art optical sensors. As we sat in the cabin, savouring cups of freshly brewed coffee, the stories flowed, and knowledge was exchanged, strengthening the profound bonds that unite oceanographers across the vast seas.

The day’s adventures took us to the Bedford Institute of Oceanography (BIO), a visit made possible by Clark, who now calls this place his professional home. It was here that I had the privilege of witnessing a Teledyne Slocum Glider equipped with RBR legatoCTD for the very first time. The sight of this glider transported me back to the countless hours I dedicated to calibrating and testing these devices back at RBR.

Inside the BIO museum, I stumbled upon a captivating exhibit, a treasure trove of historical oceanographic instruments and tools. Among the relics, a tiny ampoule held Japanese standard seawater, a testament to the meticulous metrology science that underpins oceanography, and in my case, my particular fascination with salinometry. And amid this rich tapestry of exhibits, I uncovered an Oceanographic Slide Rule, a relic from days gone by. This ingenious tool once guided oceanographers in calculating salinity and navigating the intricate depths of the ocean.

The day was a harmonious blend of past and future, where history met innovation, and camaraderie bridged the gaps of time and distance. It was a testament to the enduring spirit of exploration and discovery that fuels our passion for the seas.

A nice coffee chat with Clark Richards
View on the BIO dock from the second floor.
Japan Standard seawater ca.1975 – used to calibrate bench salinometers. Nowadays the only IAPSO Standard Seawater, manufactured by OSIL company (UK) is acceptable worldwide standard for salinometry.
Oceanographic Slide Rule – mechanical calculator of salinity from conductivity, temperature and depth.
Reversing Thermometer – a reminder of my student times, we had to use them a lot!
Knudsen water bottle with messenger and reversible thermometers (two for temperature, one for pressure) frame – a workhorse of old days oceanographers: oceanographic station consisted of a couple of dozen such samplers, set at different depths (standard horizons) and closed by sent down messengers.
A modern Niskin water bottle attached to the CTD frame (this one is designed in the BIO) – altogether 24 10L bottles can be set and fired at specific depths.
A lander with yellow buoyancy floats – the instrumental platform for long-term deployment. On the left, there are boxes with ARGO floats – hope we’ll get one onboard!
Clark with RBR concertoCTD (similar to mine, but in a plastic body, rated to 750m depth)
With Teledyne Slocum Glider, pointing at the “red nose” of RBRlegatoCTD

2 Replies to “Visiting the Bedford Institute of Oceanography”

  1. There are not many people at BIO who know how a Knudsen bottle works. Even fewer had actually worked with those.

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