How to Embark on a voyage of scientific discovery

I’ve looked around the forum and various wikis online and can’t find an answer to this.

At my lodgings, I did the preparatory research. I finished that up and got a message saying I was level 3 and I look over the charts etc. And… now what? Obvious question is obvious, but do I still need to purchase and outfit a ship? I’d assumed (perhaps wrongly?) that I’d be able to join a ship that already existed. I’m not seeing ANY instruction on how to actually EMBARK on this journey (nor could I figure out how to do “field work”). Any help?

I’m afraid you do need to buy a ship of your own. The isles of scientific interest are not on any major trade routes.

Colin’s right.

You need to get a ship (a tramp steamer works as well as any), and you’ll need to set zail on the 'zee. from Wolfstack Docks. You’ll navigate the treacherous waters of Southern Archipelago, and depending on which island you intend to visit, you can reach it from there, or travel the even more perilous route, to the Grunting Fern island via the Sea of Voices (if you do so have, the Screaming Map).

But yes, you need a vessel, and to outfit it. Those willing to research, must be willing to search and discover.

Once I get out to the islands once, can I leave and then come back later or is this a one time shot?

Also what’s the tradeoff on getting papers in Preliminary Research vs. getting them out on the Islands?
edited by ydejin on 12/14/2013

You can visit the islands as often as you wish. Not sure about your second question. I always just used the islands once I built up enough to move on.
edited by Sara Hysaro on 12/14/2013

Doing more preliminary research means you spend items, but don’t need to go to the islands so much to get to, say, 500 pages (which is what you generally want to be aiming for, assuming you’re in it for the money or the university access).

Thanks everyone.

I have Society connection up to 105, I’m just not sure I want to blow it all to get research. I’ve also got some 10 of Collections of Curiosity from somewhere (probably Expeditions in the Forbidden Quarter)