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03 Apr - Departing Rothera

Date: Sunday 03 April 2005
Position @ 1200 Local (GMT): 53°15' South, 58°13.0' West
Next destination: Stanley, Falkland Islands
ETA: Monday 04 April 2005
Distance to go: 105.0 nmiles
Total Distance sailed from UK: 20086.0 nmiles

Current weather: Cloudy, fine and clear
Wind: NW, Force 4
Sea state: Rolling swell Barometric pressure:1003.0 mmHg
Air temperature: 9.2°C (Tropical!)
Sea temperature: 7.0°C

For the most up-to-date chart of the ships position, visit sailwx.info

This week on the Shack has been a lot like last week but in reverse. We left Rothera and have headed back towards the Falklands! Of course, it's not been quite as dull as that; we had a great meal for the Rothera Winterers onboard last Saturday night while the outgoing winterers and summer staff had their last night ashore.

Rothera Winter Team 2005. Photo by Frank Swinton.

After leaving Rothera, we steamed round the west side of Adelaide Island overnight on Monday and then had a look into Detaille Island first thing on Tuesday morning. Detaille is one of the old BAS bases that has now been abandoned and we were optimistic of the chance to remove some waste from the site. Unfortunately, the weather wasn't too good at all over night and it was just as bad in the morning so when we got close to the base we couldn't see the shore from the ship and it was decided that there was nothing to be gained by waiting.

Click to see the murky weather around Detaille. Photo By Ian Hefernan

Undaunted, we made good time up to Vernadsky where we had left Pete, Sue and Matt to do some renovation work at Wordie house. We picked them up and put some other guys ashore to have a look at some of the science equipment that the Ukrainians use and see if they could fix it. After a three hour stop, the work was done and everyone was back onboard, having made the most once again of the famous Vernadsky hospitality.

Having passed though the Lemaire Channel with an escort of whales, we stopped again at Damoy and sent a boat ashore to assess the possibility of taking more waste out of there. As luck would have it, we were scuppered again by the tide this time, it just wasn't possible to get the boats close enough to the shore to make working cargo viable. We then had a beautiful trip through the Neumayer Channel and out into the open ocean once more. We're now in the northern part of Drake's Passage and due into Stanley in the morning. It's been a second good passage of Drakes in so many weeks so I think we're all feeling quite lucky and looking to get into Stanley before the tide turns and the sea gets too lumpy.

Another tough day in the office at Damoy. Photo by Ed Dodd. Click to see the boys hard at work at Damoy.

There have been a few changes to personnel onboard since Stanley, Ben the Dentist and myself are both flying home this week so the ship will be without a dentist from here on in but Dr Finbar O'Sullivan has agreed to take on the role of 'King Fid' to look after the base staff onboard as well as the medical responsibilities and Adam Thornhill has agreed to take on the webpage role. There are a few more people on gash (cleaning up) now too which has put a smile on the faces of Ben and myself, I think we've peeled enough spuds to last us a lifetime.

Just for prosperity, here's a photo showing what happens to the medical team onboard when they've been here a bit too long and it's time to go home...

Frank and Ben. (Bad) photo by Frank

Thanks for reading over the last couple of years and lookout for the next bunch of unsuspecting Fids.