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16 Sep - Annual Maintenance

RRS Ernest Shackleton Diary


Position at 1200: Wallsend A & P Maintenance Wharf, River Tyne
Conditions: Wind Light; Fine and clear.

Asset Map


Sunday: We were sad to leave our prime city centre locations at Dundee and Aberdeen. We departed Dundee at 2000 hrs for Wallsend, the A & P company lay up maintenance wharf on the river Tyne, close to Newcastle, to begin our annual maintenance.

Monday: An early arrival (0700) at our berth in Wallsend to commence a busy week of maintenance.

This week I have a welcome contributor to the web page. Robin Kilroy is our Chief Officer who knows and understands all that is going on this week so I hand over to Robin...

Hi there, Robin here. This was a busy week for everyone (except the Radio Officer!) with a number of jobs being carried out on the vessel. Here are a few of the jobs that were going on.


Chris completing the 
boot-topping. Click to enlarge.Chris Littlehales, who is the Bosuns Mate onboard, made good use of the opportunity to complete the Boot-topping with a coat of antifouling. As the vessel is not going into drydock this year it was necessary to carry out this job from the ship's punt.




Chris working on the lifeboat 
boarding ladders. Click to enlarge.When it rained Chris began construction of replacement boarding ladders for the ship's lifeboats. The Manilla side ropes are stretched with a chain block while the steps are seized in place with marline. The correct step spacing is obtained by use of a wooden spacer as shown.


The 50 tonne crane! Click 
to enlarge.Our 50tonne crane received a lot of attention this week. All the main Ram pins were burnt out and replaced with new. Without this crane the ships operation would be virtually brought to a standstill in Antarctica as this crane is required for launching of the cargo tender and to work the greater part of the cargo we carry.




One of the winches is removed 
for maintenance. Click to enlarge.Here one of the winches on the same crane is removed for inspection and maintenance.




John puts a topcoat on number one hatch
lid. Click to enlarge.Here John Macleod puts a final topcoat on number one hatch lid while two of the port main engine cylinders are craned ashore for maintenance through number two hatch.




A cylinder liner is placed on the
truck. Click to enlarge.Here the liners for the above mentioned cylinders are landed on a truck. This shot hopefully gives some scale to the size of the ships main engines, each of which has six of these cylinders and cylinder liners.




Noel working on the fire 
fighting pump. Click to enlarge.Noel Lynam rejoined as Third Officer this week and is shown here working on the ships fire fighting sprinkler/foam pump.




Thereís only so much you can put in the web page but I hope this gives some idea of whatís been going on aboard the Shackleton this week

Robin Kilroy


Thanks to Robin but donít believe that Radio Officers do nothing !!!

This weeks Crew Member therefore has to be Robin Kilroy:

Robin Kilroy, 
Chief Office, RRS Ernest Shackleton. Click to enlarge.As you can see, with Captain Stuart Lawrence in the background, Robin is a very busy man! Robin is 27 years old and single. He comes from County Kerry in south west Ireland. There has been a seafarer in Robin's family since 1750 and he is continuing this tradition. Robin says that on leave his hobbies are sailing and enjoying the Irish Pub Life and 'craic'.


Contributors this week: Robin Kilroy

North Sea Diary 19 will be written on Sunday September 23 2001 and should be published on Monday September 24 2001.