25 Aug - Short stop in Immingham
Date: Sunday 15 August 2002.
Position @ 1200 (UTC): 56° 45'N 001° 40'W
Wind: NW'ly x 33 kts
Barometric pressure: 1023.3 mb
Sea state: Rough
Air temperature: 17.2°C.
Sea temperature: 17.1°C.
Weather: Overcast with isolated heavy rain showers, moderate visibility, rough NW'ly seas, short steep NW'ly swell, vessel pitching heavily at times.
No Position Reports are available during our stay in the North Sea since we cease doing meteorological observations.
Another week has flown past with generally good weather throughout. Work has continued in the Southern North Sea in and around the Murdoch / Caister Fields.
The original plan was for the Ernest Shackleton to call into Aberdeen for a crew change during the week, but with the amount of work to be completed this started to look less likely as the week progressed.
On Thursday evening there was a very brief helicopter call with just one person disembarking, and then on Friday afternoon the vessel headed towards the mouth of the Humber River and the Pilot Station as Immingham was to be the port call.
The pilotage up the Humber is several hours, with the Pilot joining at about 1830. At 2030 the ship was passing through the lock gates and by 2100 was fast alongside Henderson Quay, Immingham Docks.
The visit was to be brief, with an 0300 departure on Saturday morning. During this time stores had to be brought onboard, 23 personnel disembarked and 23 embarked the vessel, a bunker barge came alongside so that we could take 320m³ of Marine Gas Oil, and there was a small amount of cargo delivered from Aberdeen to be loaded as well.
Immingham Dock and Jetties lie some 11.5 miles from the mouth of the River Humber and is the centre of the Humberside chemical and oil refineries. The port mainly handles dry and liquid bulk commodities, but also has a substantial general cargo load trade. As an idea of how busy the port is, in 1999 it handled some 5300 vessels and 46 million tonnes of cargo!
During port calls general waste is discharged ashore (it is not allowed to dump rubbish at sea, although there are often signs of vessels that don't always obey these rules) and this also had to be completed.
The departure in the early hours of Saturday was smooth (so smooth that it did not wake me from my sleep!) and the vessel headed back out to continue with General Visual Inspection in the Murdoch Field. The work was only to take a few hours and by late afternoon the vessel was on passage northwards, heading for the Elgin Field.
The current work should keep us at sea now for another two weeks or so when it is likely that the vessel will head into Aberdeen to demobilise all the equipment currently held onboard.
25th August 2002