Submitted by W.Dixon on
Blog tags

Saturday was so busy on RRS Discovery that we forgot to post this blog!

Saturday marked the opening of the ship to the Scottish public as part of the Discovery 100 celebrations. All visitors had pre-booked slots throughout the day, with tickets selling out in nearly 2 hours! Here’s a run through of what visitors saw on their exciting day onboard a world-class research vessel:

After boarding the ship via the gangway groups were sent to the aft deck, where they met Graham Bullimore, Discovery’s Purser. He gave them a run-down of the ship including a bit of its history, some key stats and facts and what type of equipment would typically be seen on the deck.

Groups then entered into one of the ships many labs and heard from Professor Stuart Cunningham and Adam Francis from the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS). They spoke about how gliders help to understand our ocean and how the ship enables gliders and other marine autonomy to carry out their vital research.

After stepping through one of the ships many perilous steps (this one nicknamed the ‘cookie cutter door’) groups travelled to another lab and met up with NOC scientists Professor Richard Lampitt and Dr Sara Fowell (pictured below). They gave an inspiring talk all about the various methods we use to measure and determine the health of the ocean, with even a comparison between the old and new (thanks to a kind donation from Discovery Point).


Richard and Sara giving a talk


Groups then snaked up the ship travelling through the hospital, film room, mess and dining area/kitchen. The tours closer to lunch and dinner time were treated to the amazing smells coming from the fresh food prepared for the crew. A couple of visitors definitely wanted to sit down and grab a free dinner but unfortunately we just didn’t have time!

After a quick stop to take a look at one of the ships many cabins, groups were taken to the most exciting place on the ship (in our opinion) - the bridge! They were met by the captain and his crew, who gave the group the lowdown on how navigation works and explained what some of the buttons do (pictured below) - they would be there for hours if they went through every one. 


Groups learn about the Discovery Bell


They also made some comparisons between our Discovery and Scott’s Discovery, with the biggest difference being the lack of a wheel! Additionally, groups had the chance to see the stark difference between the polar equipment both ships would have at their disposal. This included an insulated coat made out of reindeer fur which was gladly modelled by NOC’s marketing team (pictured below).


Polar Explorer Dave Wallington

Polar Explorer Will Dixon

Polar Explorer Peter Ryde


And with that the tour was over and visitors travelled back to Discovery Point. In total we welcomed around 250 members of the public who all left the ship with a huge smile on their face and increased knowledge of how RRS Discovery enables vital research on our ocean. We hope everyone who visited had a great time!