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Apr 18 - Departure from the Falkland Islands

Date: Sunday 16th April 2006
Position @ 1200 Local (GMT +3): 27°15' South 043°18' West.
Next destination: Grimsby, England, UK.
ETA: PM of Tuesday 09th May 2006
Distance to go: 5621.0 nmiles.
Current weather: Cloudy, Fine and Clear. Waiting for the sun to shine.
Sea State: Slight Sea and Low Swell.
Wind : North Nor’Westerly Force 3.
Barometric pressure: 1016.5 mmHg
Air temperature: 26.1°C
Sea temperature: 24.3°C

Click to see view of the Shackleton in today’s position.
Click to see view of the Shackleton in today’s position.

For up to date position information click on this link to ‘sailwx/info’.


Last week found the Shackleton alongside at the FIPASS in Stanley, F.I where we finished securing for sea and embarked the last of our passengers for the Northbound leg. The passengers were primarily those ‘Halley-ites’ that had been dropped off in Stanley in March and awaited our return from Rothera in order to rejoin for the voyage home. This is an option given to the departing Halley FIDs, but first they have to get off and await the Shackleton as she continues the Antarctic itinerary in Rothera. And so on Sunday 09th we embarked Miriam, Kevin and Andrew. Staying on with us from Rothera were Issy, Julian, Paul, Rob, Katt, and Matt. Petra the Doctor was always destined to sail with us in her official capacity all the way back to Grimsby.

Whilst alongside in Stanley, the Sunday – as reported – was wonderful. The Cargo work was completed in sunshine and minimal wind which was very nice for Stanley. Some of the boys and girls took the opportunity to go ashore and stretch their legs for a final time before the 4-week sea voyage, and Petra managed to get a trip in a local’s boat around the harbour. As they sailed under the port bridge wing, I failed miserably to get a good photograph of them as they waved at us in salute. The camera only started working again after the wee boat had sped away across the water heading back for the town. By all reports, everyone had a good time ashore and would have liked to have had more time and a continuation of the weather to enjoy more of the same.

Petra and the Crew head off across the bay.
Petra and the Crew head off across the bay.

Click to enlarge the notice finally posted on departure.
Click to enlarge the notice finally posted on departure.

Finally on Monday 10th at Midday we slipped away from FIPASS and headed through the Narrows on the start of our voyage to England. It was about this time that we were able to determine the date of our arrival back in an English port and therefore let our nearest-and-dearest know.


Miriam Iorwerth is not intentionally picked out to be the crew-member of the month, but when compiling the few pictures on offer for this week, I found that Miriam appeared in about 99.9 percent of them and so by default, I give you Miriam, Ex-Halley, Electronics expert, and Birthday Girl !

Yes, it was Miriam’s birthday this week and a perfect opportunity to make a party of it. The FID’s, having dutifully completed their Gash Duties for the day, arranged a ‘cocktail party’ to commemorate the passing of Miriam’s birthday. Paul ‘shaken-but-not-stirred’ Mann, gave over his fishy duties as our resident ‘fish nurse’ to don the garb of a cocktail waitress. (or ‘barman’ actually). Doctor Petra performed an operation with a spatula and oven to produce a rather splendid birthday cake with ‘25’ written bold on the top.

Click on Image to Enlarge the ‘Shakey Shack’.
Click on Image to Enlarge the ‘Shakey Shack’.

Although the adorning Shackleton looks a little crooked from this angle, the depiction of the Shackleton making it’s way past Icebergs and 25-year debris floating in a sea of sugary stuff, was excellently produced and moreover,… tasted ‘lecker’ (as our German hostess would say). *

*Lecker = Tasty.

Click on All Images to Enlarge.
Click on to Enlarge.

On Thursday evening starting at 1930 hours, the party began. Everybody looked resplendent in their finery as they all dressed for the occasion and tried the various cocktails on offer. Petra had also been busy on the computer to concoct a birthday card for everyone to sign, and the cake was presented in the Red Room.

Click on to Enlarge.
Click on to Enlarge.

Nibbles accompanied the various concoctions which Barman Paul was happy to proffer, and the party was well-attended bearing in mind that people were still manning the bridge and answering the various calls to duty that the Unmanned Engine Control Room Watch kept making.

It was a very convivial evening and a great swage was cut into the cake before bedtime. Mmmmmm.

Click on to Enlarge.
Click on to Enlarge.

But unfortunately, the morning brought the return of the usual Gash Duties for all our ‘guests’ who have been enlisted into helping around the vessel. Guess who we found with cleaning cloth in her hand the next day ?…. Miriam !

But it is not all Work

Upon leaving the Falkland Islands, the weather was still being consistently bad. Those winds were ever on the bow and relentless. The one nice day of Sunday, had given way to rain showers on the Monday and as we departed, the Tuesday and Wednesday were perfectly miserable. There was always the residual swell from a Northerly direction which continued to ensure the vessel kept pitching and gave the FID’s onboard an excuse to feel ill and lethargic. But all that changed midweek with the clouds thinning and blue skies forever threatening to peep out and brighten the days. Every day saw us sailing further North with an equivalent improvement in the sea state until today, Sunday, when the sea was perfectly balmy. This has done much to bring out the sunbathers within, and both FID’s and Crew have been seen out on the decks taking the airs. Who do you think managed to find her way in front of the camera lens once again ?

Miriam takes the sunshine on deck this weekend.
Miriam takes the sunshine on deck this weekend.

Wavey Davey’s Weekly Wit Spot

Wavey Davey was reading a report of a stricken airliner this week.
The transcript from the crash investigation revealed the following words spoken in the cockpit prior to it’s demise.
‘Mayday Mayday Mayday, this is Airliner 5432 with engine failure, we are going down !’.
‘Roger Airliner 5432. This is Air Traffic Control. What is your exact position ?’.
‘Well’, reported the pilot, ‘I’m sitting in a little seat on the left hand side of the aircraft,… at the front’ !
We suspect that Wavey Davey saw all those ‘Airline’ Movies that came out in the 70’s ?

BBQ Season

Apart from plodding on in a Northerly direction, the crew are looking forward to ever increasing temperatures and pleasant evenings on deck to pursue yet another favourite on-passage pastime, The Barbeque ! There is an informal BBQ planned on the aft deck this very evening in preparation for our weekly event to mark the passing of yet another week at sea.


It has been brought to the attention of the editor that in the Web Diary for 02nd April there may have been a slight mistake in the report from Martin Rowe - The travelling sailor. It was reported that RRS were the initials of the Royal Research Station of Rothera. As pointed out to the management, whilst the RRS Ernest Shackleton has the Royal Charter, the Research Bases do NOT. Therefore we suspect the RRS in relation to the Base simply refers to the Rothera Research Station and we therefore gave you erroneous information. We apologise for the error, and will ask you to bear in mind that it was in fact the day after April Fool’s Day, so we may just be excused for a belated joke ??? Meanwhile thanks to Mike and the rest of the readership who picked-up on it !

The Ed.

Forthcoming Events: Continuing North and ‘Crossing the Line’ again next weekend (23rd).

Contributions This Week : Thanks to all those who had their photo’s stolen off the communal ‘shared network drive’. The royalty cheques are in the Post ???

Diary No.11 will hopefully be prepared on Sunday 23rd April for publication on Monday 24th April.

Stevie B
Radio Officer.