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4 Dec - Mare Harbour

Date: Sunday the 4th December 2005
Position @ 1200 Local (GMT-3): 60°41 South’, 45°34 west.
Next destination: South Georgia
ETA: Thursday 8th December 2005
Distance to go: 775 Miles
Total distance sailed from UK : N/A
Current weather: Overcast with snow flurries
Wind: 10kn South Easterly
Sea State: Calm
Barometric pressure: 988.2
Air temperature: +3.2°C
Sea temperature: -1.4°C

Click on www.sailwx.info for our latest position

This week on the Shackleton we entered Mare Harbour first thing Monday morning after being at Anchor overnight just outside East Cove.

As soon as the vessel was alongside and all fast, cargo operations swung into action unloading the items for transshipment to the James Clark Ross which is the other BAS ship which was due to arrive in mare harbour on Wednesday 30th , as soon as off loading was complete the ship loaded various items for the Antarctic bases including fresh provisions and various building materials for South Georgia.

Tuesday the ship took on bunkers delivered to the ship by road tanker, It took 14 tanker loads to top up the the Ernest Shackletons fuel tanks with marine gas oil ,we took on 450cubes of MGO roughly equivalent to 84,000 Gallons

Fuel Tanker alongside
Fuel Tanker alongside

Andy Rutter the Motorman checking the fuel connections on the ship.
Andy Rutter the Motorman checking the fuel connections on the ship.

Also on Tuesday more base personnel joined the Shackleton ready for transit south. They arrive in the Falklands Via Mount Pleasant Airport direct from the UK which takes approximately 18 hours including a short stop for an hour or so on Ascension Island so the aircraft can refuel and change crew.

747 at Wide Awake Airfield on Ascension Island en route to the Falklands.
747 at Wide Awake Airfield on Ascension Island en route to the Falklands.

Mare Harbour was quite busy with various ships during our call, Including the RFA Grey Rover, HMS Southampton, HMS Dumbarton Castle, the resident harbour support vessel Indomitable and when we departed on Wednesday 30th the Ice patrol Vessel HMS Endurance and the BAS ship RRS James Clark Ross passed us on their way in to the harbour.

Endurance
Endurance

Indomitable
Indomitable

 HMS Southampton
HMS Southampton

James Clark Ross
James Clark Ross

The Shackleton then headed for Signy Base which is in the South Orkney Islands to drop off some base personnel and a resupply, On route we encountered some rough weather which made quite a few of the Fids in transit seasick so the ship was quiet for a couple of days while the ship was rolling and pitching, As the weather eased off the vessel entered the first pack ice so far this season just to the north of Signy but turned out to be a band of ice a few miles wide so on Saturday 3rd December when we entered Borge Bay just off Signy it was clear and the vessel Anchored for the night

Fids in better weather
Fids in better weather

the after deck in rough seas.
the after deck in rough seas.

entering the pack ice
entering the pack ice

entering the pack ice
entering the pack ice

Sunday morning arrived and the sea was flat calm which is perfect weather for working the the small boats for cargo so Tula was loaded and the FRC was busy transporting people back and forth to Signy Base

Cargo tender Tula and the Fast Rescue Craft busy just offshore from Signy Base
Cargo tender Tula and the Fast Rescue Craft busy just offshore from Signy Base

Cargo tender Tula and the Fast Rescue Craft busy just offshore from Signy Base
Cargo tender Tula and the Fast Rescue Craft busy just offshore from Signy Base

The following two pictures, one of which is the 2nd Officer Noel Lynam who relaxes in his spare time by playing the banjo and a Skua which always lands on the ship every time we visit Signy (most likely due to the fact it knows he will get the odd sausage or two leftover from breakfast.)

2nd Officer Noel Lynam
2nd Officer Noel Lynam

Skua
Skua

That's about all from the Ernest Shackleton for this week, Forthcoming events include departure Signy ,transit to ,and arrival South Georgia.

Last but not least a big hello to all our friends and family's back home.

Dave Bailey.