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04 Nov - Loading Stores in Montevideo

RRS Ernest Shackleton Diary

Position at 1200 (UTC - 3 hours): 34°53'N  56°12'W (Stern to, Deposito 11, Montevideo)
Next destination: East Cove, Falkland Islands
ETA: November 09 2001
Distance to go: 1049 NM
Total Distance Sailed this Season: 6040.6NM

Current weather: 
Wind:  N x Force 3
Barometric pressure: 1014.4  mb
Sea state: Harbour calm
Air temperature: 22.5°C.
Sea temperature: 17.5°C.

Ships position taken from the regular weather observations (only available whilst at sea, courtesy of Oceanweather.com). Callsign is ZDLS1 Select the South Atlantic area, and "Marine Observations".

This week has seen the continued upkeep and husbandry of the ship. With the generally good weather all of the decks have been painted (a very nice shade of green) along with the main crane (light buff) and various handrails (gloss white).

There were continued whale sightings for the first two days of the week and on Wednesday a large group of dolphins passed by.

During the course of the week we have passed close enough to the Brazilian coastline to see land and there has been an increase in ships in the area.

On Wednesday afternoon the vessel was overflown by a Brazilian Naval helicopter (Lynx) who circled a number of times before heading back to her home vessel (which was not in sight). Early in the evening another helicopter passed overhead and this time called us up and advised of a military exercise in the area and requested that we make a course change for an hour before carrying on our way to Montevideo. It transpired that there was an international exercise taking place in Brazilian waters and that a number of the ships involved would be staying in Montevideo over the weekend.

The Montevideo Pilot boarded the vessel on Friday afternoon at about 1310 and guided the Ernest Shackleton into the port. Our berth for the first day would be alongside Deposito 5, to enable us to load stores easily, and the ship was all fast at 1418.

With immigration, customs and various officials onboard on arrival, money and passes were issued by 1700 and those that were not on duty had the chance to go ashore and stretch their legs, and enjoy some of the great food available in this lovely city.

Brazilian submarine Tapajo arriving in Montevideo.Saturday morning and stores arrived at 0800. Once completed the vessel was due to move. However, just before the move a Brazilian submarine, Tapajo, came past us and tied up just ahead of us. She too had been taking part in the exercise and we did wonder if she had been hiding under us at any stage!

The move from Deposito 5 to Deposito 11 went smoothly, although due to the location of this berth we had to back up to the quayside, dropping an anchor as we approached.

During the afternoon an American warship berthed alongside just down the quay from us. The port now has two Brazilian, two French and the American warship, the Brazilian submarine and a Brazilian support vessel berthed here.

Capitan Dranitsyn arriving MontevideoAlso arriving on Saturday was the Capitan Dranitsyn, a very large Russian ice-breaker, who will be embarking passengers for Antarctic tours.

The weather in Montevideo has not been good for the weeks preceding our arrival, with a lot of rain. However, we seem to be bringing the good weather with us this season (and long may it last!) and our stay so far has been blessed with warm sunny weather.

Sunday also sees the present crew changing over with Captain John Marshall and his team joining. This afternoon a number of supernumeraries will also be joining and so the ship will start to fill up for the voyage south.

Forthcoming events: Depart Montevideo Monday at about 1600 and proceed to the Falkland Islands for our first call of the season.....

The next update will be written on Sunday November 11

Mike Gloistein