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05 Oct - Drydock

Date:� Sunday 05 October 2002
Position @ 1200 (UTC): 7 metres from the side of Drydock No.9 - in all directions!!
Next destination: Immingham, Lincolnshire, England
ETA: PM Tuesday 16 October 2003
Distance to go: 305.0 km
Total Distance Sailed: 0

Current Weather: Blue skies, fine and clear
Wind:� NW 8 knots
Barometric pressure:� 1018.9 mb
Sea state: No sea - we are on blocks in drydock!!!
Air temperature:� 9.3°C.
Sea temperature: Nil!!


RRS Ernest Shackleton, departed Norway and the North Sea Season on Sunday 21st September (around the time of the last webpage) and headed for Portsmouth, arriving on a warm, sunny afternoon on Tuesday 23rd.  Passing by the White cliffs of Dover, I was reminded of the approaches to Creek 4 at Halley down in Antarctica.  Don't take my word for it,... spot the difference....

White Cliffs of Dover...or is it Halley? White Cliffs of Dover...or is it Halley?
White Cliffs of Dover...or is it Halley?

Above: The White Cliffs of Dover, and the White Cliffs of Halley !!! Click the images to enlarge them.

Whilst on the subject of our Antarctic arena of operations, Wavey-Davey was back in fine style this week as he plied his trade on the decks of the Shackleton.

Wavey-Davey's Weekly Whit-spot.

Davey says - he is a great believer in 'safe cycling'.
He always dresses accordingly when he goes out on his bicycle, with white safety hat, white coat, light trousers, white boots, reflective strips, white gloves and light coloured scarf.  But he keeps getting run over by Sno'cats when he is down South !!!

But he is still around to haunt us in Portsmouth with other gems like...
'How do you kill a Circus'.
'Go for the Juggler !!!'.

HMS Victory HMS Warrior

Above: Naval Dockyard Ships HMS Victory and HMS Warrior. Click the images to enlarge them.

Look at these two vessels...  They came into Dock in Portsmouth decades ago ... and they are STILL HERE !


The ship was guided into No.9 dock in the FSL shipyard and remained afloat during Tuesday evening.  It wasn't until the morning of the 24th that the Dock was pumped dry and the vessel was left high-and-dry on the blocks.  The workload whilst in drydock is very similar to previous drydocks, but with particular attention to our athwart-ship thrusters which have seen good service in the North Sea.  I had the opportunity to remove a 'speed log' (speedometer sensor) which protrudes from the bottom of the hull, and therefore can only be removed when we are dry below the keel.  Largely the remit is similar to previous drydocks that the ship undergoes every other year according to schedule.  See web diary of last year.

There is so much going on from the dock bottoms to the very top of the funnel, with the repair and service of existing equipment onboard, and with the installation of entirely new systems.  Future webpages will introduce the latest technology being installed on the Ernest Shackleton, but just now, here are a few photographs of the work being undertaken during the busy busy weeks of drydock.

Legs in the dock
Legs in the dock

Legs in the laundry
Legs in the Laundry

Legs in the Satdome
Legs in the Satdome

Legs everywhere!!
Legs everywhere !!!

Some of these photographes may not be entirely 'kosher', but you get the idea.  Wherever there is a hole - and there are many currently onboard the Ernest Shackleton - there can oftentimes be seen pairs of legs protruding out of them!

The work goes on apace starting early in the morning and finishing late at night, and 7 days of the week. Unfortunately, this does not allow a deal of time for the writing of webpages.  Please bear with us.....

Forthcoming events: Complete the drydock.  Float the vessel on Thursday afternoon, and prepare to depart for our next port of call - Immingham on the Humber - for loading ready for the next Antarctic Season.

Contributors this week: Thanks to all the legs.  No contributions this week as everybody is busy, busy, busy.

Diary 2 of the forthcoming Antarctic Season  will hopefully be written on 12th October for publication on 13th October 2003

Drydock permitting....due to the rigours of work, the pages may be slightly delayed until we are back in the 'normal' modus operandum on the way South to Antarctica.

Stevie B