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17 Apr - Things are hotting up!

Date: Sunday 17 April 2005
Position @ 1200 Local (GMT): 19°49' South, 39°21.0' West
Next destination: Humberside, UK
ETA: 0400 Sunday 08 May 2005
Distance to go: 5046.0 nmiles
Total Distance sailed from UK: 22293.0 nmiles

Current weather: Cloudy, fine and clear
Wind: N, Force 3
Sea state: Slight Barometric pressure:1016.9 mmHg
Air temperature: 29.5°C
Sea temperature: 27.7°C

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

This week on the 'Shack.... It's getting HOT!!! As we continue our journey North, heading for the UK, we leave the cold windy weather of the Falklands well behind us. We are now traveling North along the coast of Brazil, after crossing the Tropic of Capricorn (23°30'S) yesterday morning. Everyone is now throughly enjoying the warm temperatures, after not feeling the Sun this hot for so long. Although it isn't all play and sunbathing. The crew have several jobs for us Fids to assist with on the way back, including painting the ship, to make sure it is ship shape before it's season in the North Sea this UK Summer.

Dougal enjoying the rays in his Hammock, made during the Winter at Rothera.  Dougal Ranford.

During the week, the 14 of us Fids on board have been asked to help out with a few of the ships duties. Over the next few weeks, we will be helping out the crew during the morning, with the afternoons to ourselves. A few of us have been asked to work along side Paul, the 3rd Mate, checking over the immersion suits and a general inspection of the safety equipment onboard. Others have been asked to work with the Chris, the Bosun, who has kept people busy by painting various parts of the ship. Dougal and Ed have especially been busy getting more paint over themselves and others rather than on the metal work itself.

Ed Painting above the bridge on the Monkey deck.  Dougal Ranford. Ed Dodd Painting the crane on Tula.  Dougal Ranford.

During the afternoons, as the crew continue to work, us Fids have been making the most of our time onboard. Whether it be sunbathing out on the deck, trying to get a bit of colour on our Antarctic pastey white bodies. Finishing reports that we did not get finished while at Rothera, or booking trips and holidays that we are planning when we get back! Of course there is always time for a few Sun downers out on the Heli deck before Dinner. Myself, Scotty and Graeme thought we should uphold the Rothera tradition of having a few drinks before dinner on a Friday afteroon.

Scotty, Graeme and Adam enjoying a few G&T's on the Heli deck Friday afternoon. Iain Airth.

Saturday soon came around, and having officially reached the Tropics by crossing the Tropic of Capricorn, it was time for a BBQ. Keith, Ash and Cyril, the Chefs onboard prepared a fantastic feast, expertly cooked by Cryil, Rothera's French Chef, giving Keith and Ash, the Shacks Chefs the evening off from the Cooking. Saturday is a half day for the crew, so they all made the most of their afternoon off and spent the time cooking themselves on the Heli deck. The BBQ was soon roaring, and as the Sun went down, we could just make out the outline of the coast of Brasil out to the west of us. Various ships and Oil rigs passed us by as we ate and drank the evening away.

BBQ on the Aft Deck Sat night, with Cyril, our French Chef, incharge.  Fin O'Sullivan.

A week down now, so just 3 weeks to go before we hit the sunny shores of Britain. We are due to cross the Equator later this week, with Neptunes Ceremony being held on Saturday. The crew seem to have a lot in store for those of us who have not crossed the Equator on board a ship before, so next Saturday is shaping up to be a very "Interesting" experience. Wish us luck.

Best regards for now. Until next week. Adam.