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Apr 30 - All quiet on the Western Front

Date: Sunday 30th April 2006
Position @ 1200 Local (GMT): 32°47' North 026°08' West
Next destination: Grimsby, England, UK
ETA: PM of Tuesday 09th May 2006
Distance to go: 1016.0 nmiles

Current weather: Cloudy, Fine and Clear
Sea State: Moderate Sea and Moderate Swell
Wind: North Nor’Easterly Force 6
Barometric pressure: 1016.0 mmHg
Air temperature: 18.2°C
Sea temperature: 18.7°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’.


Not really the ‘western front’, but the western Atlantic is where we find the Ernest Shackleton this week. There is not so much to report this week as we travel ever Northwards on schedule and on course for our arrival back in the UK. Clicking on the picture above shows how we have maintained just the one course since last week and it is a course that has not afforded us a sight of land. On a better note, the journey has been calm enough and we have not had horrible weather to report this week. The weather all week has been primarily cloudy with only occasional breaks to allow the sun to come streaming through, but this has also been a blessing. For all the FID’s and Crew who are working out on deck, chipping, painting, greasing, and maintaining, a respite from the relentless blaze of the sun was not entirely a bad thing. The Factor 30 Suntan lotion has been much in evidence and many-a-working-class suntan has been achieved onboard. Lots of lines where collars, shorts, tee-shirt sleeves have produced the white/pink demarcation between exposed and unexposed parts !

Speaking of ‘exposed parts’, the one photo I DID find this week speaks volumes of how our FID’s are spending their leisure hours onboard.

Click on Image to ‘expose’.
Click on Image to ‘expose’.

Wavey Davey’s Weekly Wit Spot

In keeping with the Western Front theme, Davey came up with the following Wartime Ditty this week.

In 1914-1918 France, the two opposing forces face each other over No-man’s land and can make no progress.

British High Command devise a plan for achieving the advantage and command all their front-line troops to look over the top of the Trenches and call the most common German name they can think of...

‘Fritz’ ? They would shout.
‘Ja’ replied Fritz looking up over the opposing side
(BANG) and the English started popping off the enemy one at a time.

German High Command – not to be outdone – countered this devious plot and issued a command to their front-line troops.

‘Think of the most common English name you can think of and shout it at the English’.
And so the troops were lined all along the trenches shouting over to the English side.
‘Thommie’ they would shout.
No reply
‘Thommie’ they shouted again.
No reply
‘Thommie, are you there ?’ they would enquire ?

‘Is that you Fritz ?’
(BANG) !!!

Disclaimer : No offence to our beloved Doctor Petra intended !

But just to offend the myopic amongst our readership, Wavey also mentioned he went to his optician’s recently.

‘I need glasses’, he said.
‘You sure do, Mate’, came the reply. ‘This is a FISHMONGERS’ !


Apart from the program of ongoing maintenance onboard, the main industry is preparing the vessel for our forthcoming North Sea Charter period. We already have our dates for arriving Grimsby, embarking Trials personnel and Dynamic Positioning Officers (DPO’s), we have the FMEA Trials date set for Monday 15th May and thereafter our plan is to go directly to Aberdeen for the Mobilization of the North Sea Spread and remainder of the Charter Personnel. We have yet to discover where in the North Sea we will be working, but the Helideck is being prepared, the Certification is being checked and Procedures Manuals for the North Sea are being re-visited. Yes, the Shackleton will once again change her clothes and trade the warm and woolly guise of an Antarctic Research Vessel for the attire of a North Sea Support Vessel.

Forthcoming Events: Continuing North.

Contributions This Week: Nil.

Diary No.13 will hopefully be prepared on Sunday 07th May for publication on Monday 08th May.

Stevie B
Radio Officer