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18 Aug - An interesting read.....

Date:  Sunday 11 August  2002.
Position @ 1200 (UTC): 54° 12'N 002° 20'W

Wind:  ESE x 20 kts
Barometric pressure:  1012.2 mb
Sea state: Rippled seas
Air temperature:  21.6°C.
Sea temperature: 18.8°C.
Weather: Cloudless and clear with horizon haze.

No Position Reports are available during our stay in the North Sea since we cease doing meteorological observations.

Map of North Sea - Click to enlargeClick on map to magnify detail.

Following a further period of excellent weather in the Schiehallion Field, work was completed on Tuesday 13th August and with the Solo ROV secured on deck, the Ernest Shackleton departed the field towards Aberdeen.

On the morning of Wednesday 14th a number of 'spot' dives were completed in Cruden Bay, just to the south of Peterhead, and then the final passage to Aberdeen was made to meet the Pilot and be alongside Russells' Quay for 1500.

The call into Aberdeen was to be a short one, with some stores and personnel to be loaded, and then at 2000 the vessel departed, bound for the Southern North Sea and work in the Murdoch/Caister Field. This area is located at the southern end of Dogger Bank.

RRS Ernest Shackleton, as seen from our Fast Rescue Craft a few weeks ago.
Click to enlarge
RRS Ernest Shackleton seen from the Fast Rescue Craft - Click to enlarge

Once again the weather has been excellent, with bright sunshine and very calm seas, ideal for working in. The ROV is now working to a depth of only about 30m (compared to the 350-430m whilst at Schiehallion).

Also working in the Southern North Sea at this time is the Polarbjorn, our sister ship from this vessels owners, Polar Ship Management. She was launched at the end of of 2001 and is a slightly larger version of the Ernest Shackleton (ex Polar Queen). Like the Ernest Shackleton she is designed for both North Sea support work and also polar operations.

The Polarbjorn in the North Sea
Click to enlarge
The Polarbjorn in the North Sea - Click to enlarge
For more information, check out the Polarbjorn web site.

An interesting read.........

Whilst in Lerwick, Shetland Islands, a number of copies of Shetland's Whalers Remember by Gibbie Fraser, were obtained and these are proving to be a good read.

Regardless of ones stance on the pro/anti whaling situation, it is an activity that occupied the first half of the last century and one that working onboard a BAS vessel we are constantly reminded of when visiting islands such as South Georgia and Signy.

The book has been put together by an ex-whaler from the Shetland's, from where a very large number of the workforce originated, and is a series of anecdotes and memories from those days so long ago.

Following a whalers reunion in Brae, Gibbie Fraser realised that ex-whalers were becoming a rare breed and that is when he came up with the idea for a book on the subject. The stories told in the book give an insight to the different jobs that made up a whaling expedition and provide a historical record of the men and the jobs that was such an important part of the Shetland economy at that time.

I am not sure how easy this will be to obtain outside of Shetland, but am sure that it should be possible via the internet without too much trouble!

The details are: Shetland's Whalers Remember compiled by Gibbie Fraser. Printed by Nevis Print Ltd, Fort William. ISBN 0 9541564. Cost £14.00

18th August 2002