8th Dec, 2014

Interesting history lesson

I received the following from Gerald Boalch and thought it would be good to post on the blog. I was under the mistaken impression that the “L” in “L4” was named after the Lumby sampler, and assumed this was a scientist from the MBA (which may still be correct). Intrigued – read on …

The hydrographic stations were first set up in 1910 when ICES set up a programme of sampling stations around Europe on a regular basis. Each nation had a set of stations to sample every quarter and the ones set for MBA were labelled E for England, Scottish ones were labelled S and so on. The first set of E stations were E1,E2 and E3, these were in a line from Plymouth to Ushant. If you look at the ICES reports for the 1910 period onwards you will see the details, otherwise the reports in the JMBA by Armstrong Butler and Boalch from 1964 onwards give details of the stations as we used to work these three. There were other E stations heading up from Ushant towards the Irish Sea. The L stations were Local stations worked by the MBA on the way to E1, I think they were L 1 to L6. They had no connection with Lumby. We used to use the Lumby sampler for surface samples at most stations. When we were doing the Western Channel surveys we worked a three watch system right through the 24 hours and the system was that 10 minutes before arriving at the station the bridge would send a crew member to put out the Lumby and that crew member would then find the scientist on watch ant tell him the Lumby was out and we would be on station in 10 minutes so that the scientist could get ready to do what ever sampling was required. The Lumby also had the advantage that a surface sample could be taken even if the captain said it was not safe to stop the ship and work a station.

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