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13 Oct - Cables and Cranes

Date:  Monday 13th October 2003.
Position @ 1200 (UTC): 7 metres from the side of Drydock No.9 - in all directions!!
Next destination: Immingham, Lincolnshire, England UK.
ETA: PM Thursday 16th October 2003
Distance to go:   305.0 km
Total Distance Sailed:  0

Current weather: Grey skies, fine and dry
Wind: Easterly, 06 Knots.
Barometric pressure: 1021.9 mb
Sea state:. No Sea, but we are afloat again the drydock
Air temperature: 14.7°C.
Sea temperature: Nil °C.



The RRS Ernest Shackleton, is still desperately busy in the Naval Dockyard here at Portsmouth.
The ship was refloated on Thursday afternoon and happily we can report we had no leaks or floods. Nobody forgot to replace any of the 'plugs' in the keel and there was a discernable wobble under the foot once the ship was floated clear of the blocks beneath. We have subsequently even seen the ship list port and starboard as the newly serviced main crane was swung again into operation!
View of the crane.
View of the crane being swung out for testing and calibration.
The bags are filled with water and when up to 55 Tonnes, should the load ever fall, we would merely be adding 55 Tonnes of water to the dock level.

On the bridge, I am afraid to report, that with only 2 more days remaining till we take to the seas, there is still obvious signs that the work is far from over.

Here we see the Sparkie and a Marconi Marine contractor making a mess of the beloved center of the Shackleton Universe ... the Bridge.

Click on the images to enlarge.

Cables on the Bridge 1 Cables on the Bridge 2
Cables on the Bridge 3 Cables on the Bridge 4

Talk about 'holding the ship together with string??? Looking at what runs under the feet of everyone passing over the bridge decks? Who could guess that there is a regular 'snakes wedding' just below those boards! These 'electrical and electronic strings' carry everything for lights, power, computer information, Dynamic Positioning Controls and a whole bunch of other cables that we quite frankly haven't a clue what they do??? Once buried, it is very difficult to trace your cable ever again.

Has anyone ever considered colouring these cables in another colour other than GRAY???

Wavey-Davey's Weekly Whit-spot.

And now for a little 'light relief'...

Davey says - he once worked for the Lighthouse Service, and had a lighthouse all of his own.
But they sacked him because he kept turning out the light when he went to bed *(^%^£??

Then one night he found the corridore at the top of his stairs jam-packed full of aeroplanes!
He forgot to switch off the Landing Light!!

(.. I wish I could switch Wavey off?!!!).


The ship is nearing completion here. Time to do those touching-up types of jobs like painting, cleaning, clearing, and replacing engines!
Here's a great photo of Chris 'Chicago' Littlehales at work doing some last minute mathematics on a big red blackboard.. (redboard ?).
Last minute mathematics. '' 6 + 4 + 2 + 7M = ???? ''
Click on image to enlarge.

Forthcoming events: Complete loading AVCAT at the 'Railway Jetty' here in the dockyard. Once completed we will set sail for Immingham on the Humber - for loading ready for the next Antarctic Season.We will embark the 10 passenger/supernumaries which will travel South with us to Montevideo, and make preparations for the onward journey.

Contributors this week: Thanks to the FSL Team at the Naval Dockyard Portsmouth for a very industrious dry dock 2003.

Diary 3 of the forthcoming Antarctic Season will hopefully be written on 19th October for publication on 20th October 2003
Work again permitting. Apologies again ensure for the slightly delayed pages at the start of this Antarctic Season.

Stevie B