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20 Oct - Portsmouth...still!!

Date:� Sunday 20 October 2002
Position @ 1200 (UTC): 7 metres from the side of Drydock No.9 - in all directions!!
Next destination: Immingham, Lincolnshire, England
Distance to go: 305.0 km
Total Distance Sailed: 0

Current Weather: Overcast skies, fine and dry
Wind:� NE 8 knots
Barometric pressure:� 1007.4 mb
Sea state: No sea - but we are afloat again in the drydock
Air temperature:� 9.9°C.
Sea temperature: Nil!


RRS Ernest Shackleton, is still in the Naval Dockyard here at Portsmouth.....

The ship removed from the Dock No.9 and sailed 'around the corner' under the watchful eye of Nelson's flagship HMS Victory and the iron steamship HMS Warrior. There were also many other watchful eyes as we passed by the France-bound ferries Monte St. Michelle and Normandie and got many waves from the folks aboard.  Portsmouth is a very busy port with many ships - large and small - going backwards and forwards.

It seems that the Shackleton has been here in Portsmouth for so long, that we are feeling like 'one of the fleet', as the picture below clearly shows.....!!

HMS Shackleton?? Click to enlarge

Click on image to enlarge "HMS Shackleton".

For the Shackleton, it was over to the Railway Jetty to await bunkers.  But the inaugural trip down the Harbour indicated problems in the Engine department.

A Gearbox Oil Cooler was not infact cooling the gearbox oil and the fault required the removal and replacement of the cooler itself.  This proved to be a not-readily accessible spare part to obtain, so we were taken back to the No.9 dock where we reconnected all services and sat in dock to wait out the weekend and the pending arrival of the new 'bit'.  This of course impinges upon our itinerary, but it is hoped that we can get away from Portsmouth in good time to catch up with the loading plan in Immingham and best speed down to Montevideo.

Wavey-Davey's Weekly Whit-spot.

Davey says - he is having a great problem with a Jigsaw he bought.
I asked ' what is so difficult about it ?'.
'It's a Tiger' he said, 'and all the pieces look the same'.
'Let's have a look at it' I said, and he brought the jigsaw up to the bridge coffee table.
'Empty it on the table' I said, 'and we'll have a look at it, and get it sorted'...
Wavey Davey emptied the contents onto the table.
'Put the Frosties back in the Packet, Davey' ... I said.

Davey also says - he bought himself a book recently.
He didn't understand the plot at all, but the all the words were carefully explained.
'Don't be silly, Davey', I said. 'it's a Dictionary' !!

The weather in Portsmouth has been very kind to us, allowing the deck crew to get out and about and give all the surfaces a fresh lick of paint.  So we certainly have not been wasting our extended stay in the docks.  The vessel is looking very smart and we still have the long weeks on the journey to South America to continue with the program of painting.  By the time that we arrive in Montevideo, there will not be a spot of rust or blemish on her exterior paintjob !

In the interior we continue with slight repairs and upgrades, and the Radar screen got replaced over the weekend. The 29'' Barco monitor was promptly removed and did we replace it with a nice new minature screen, inkeeping with the trend of technology to grow smaller and smaller ???

Radar screen Radar screen

No, not a bit of it.  The replacement screen still took 3 men to lift it and weighed 120 kgs!! Click the images above to enlarge them.

Forthcoming events: Repair the damaged Gearbox Oil Cooler with the new parts and test.  Upon completion of a successful test, 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.

Diary 4 of the forthcoming Antarctic Season  will hopefully be written on 26th October for publication on 27th October 2003

Stevie B