Text and Photos Copyright ©2001 Mark E. Halliday


My ultimate work visit to China came at the end of 5 years of negotiations, exhibitions, and training visits.

A "sea-trial" was scheduled in which five different systems supplied by foreign companies would be tested.


Compared to previous assignments, this was pleasant.

The test vessel was a brand new oceanographic ship.


Everything was clean and well organized, and the lifeboats looked like they might actually work.







This was my room for the five days at sea.


This is the third Model-S gravity meter installed in China.

The gravity meter room is located at the "center-of-motion" of the ship, i.e. near the waterline amidships.

Note the lovely green velvet cover

over the gravity sensor on the left.




By now I had worked extensively with key people on the Chinese side.

They seemed to have developed some trust that the gravity meter worked.

Unfortunately, some of the other systems were not working to specifications, so there were still unhappy faces.


We enjoyed good food on board each day!








Being a new ship, this Chinese vessel was especially equipped with one western-style toilet. However, someone forgot to provide instructions on how to clean them!

So we still used the old "trench" toilet room where a 20-foot long tile trench goes underneath the toilet cubicles. You have to squat and hang on as the ship rolls!

A beautiful sunrise over the South China Sea.

It was typhoon season, so we were nervous when a major typhoon slammed the Phillipines not so far away.

However, the storm turned north to HongKong and we enjoyed calm seas.





This is a side-scan sonar "fish" towed behind the ship on a cable. It produces images of the ocean floor.


Here a "CTD" (current-temperature-density) device is brought aboard at sunset after being lowered almost 10,000 feet down to one of the deepest parts of the south China Sea.





The sun was quite hot,

and this crew member devised a stylish hat

from some styrofoam packing material!



At the end of the tests, we returned to the port of Haikou on the southern side of Hainan island.







A final banquet in Haikou City. We again toast each other for all the hard work achieving success for the "mission".







The next day we had a chance to see a few tourist spots on Hainan island. This lovely beach outside our hotel was largely deserted.

We visited a nearby Aquarium popular with Chinese tourists. Hainan island is a fantasy island in the mind of many Chinese; they like to think of it as their "Hawaii" with tropical climate and even a few palm trees





Text and Photos Copyright ©2001 Mark E. Halliday