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26 June - On Charter

Date: Sunday 26 June 2005
Position @ 1200 Local (GMT+1): 60°19' North, 03°39.0' West
Next destination: Peterhead, TBC
ETA: Tuesday 05 July 2005
Distance to go: N/A

Current weather: Overcast, mist, rain
Wind: SW, Force 7
Sea state: Rough
Barometric pressure:1019.2 mmHg
Air temperature: 11.6°C
Sea temperature: 11.2°C

For the most up-to-date chart of the ships position, visit sailwx.info

It has been a few weeks since the vessel arrived back in the UK and the last web page was produced so please accept our apologies. (especially to Jeff Potts of Whiston, Staffordshire)

The ship arrived in Grimsby on the 8th May and we received visitors from friends and families of both the ships crew and Fids traveling back from the Antarctic. For most of the Fids it was time to be reunited with families and friends whom they have not seen for the last two and a half years so they were all keen to set foot on dry land at last.


Above: The approach to Grimsby, the dock gates are to the right of the tower.

In the few hectic days at Grimsby the returning cargo from the Antarctic season was unloaded and returned to BAS Cambridge.

Tula the cargo tender and the small inflatable boats were moved into storage as they will not be required until the next trip South later this year.

Essential electrical and mechanical maintaince work was ongoing all week preparing for the North Sea operations.

Victualling stores and fuel were loaded and the vessel moved a few miles up the Humber to Immingham on the 13th May.

After a short trip out for sea trials we departed Immingham on the 18th May and arrived in Aberdeen on the 19th.

The Shackleton was then on hire to Stolts Offshore who have an extensive program of general visual inspections of BP operated pipelines which criss-cross the North Sea transporting oil and gas from the offshore rigs to the mainland so the usual ROVs and associated equipment was mobilized during our stay in Aberdeen.

ROV Solo ready to dive ROV Lynx on deck

Above: ROV Solo ready to dive & the small ROV Lynx on deck.

The ship departed Aberdeen on the 25th May and headed for the Buchan Deep to wet test the ROVs and then made a brief call to Peterhead on the 26th to drop off an engineer as every thing seemed to be working fine.


Above: Peterhead on a grey, overcast day.

After departing Peterhead the pipeline survey started in the central North Sea in the area around the Marnock Platform.

During the next few days surveys were carried out around and between the following Offshore platforms. Ula, Tambar, Gyda before moving north to Armada , Miller and Bruce just to name a few of the many locations.

Marnock Platform Ula Platform

Above: Marnock (ETAP) Platform BP and Ula Platform BP (Norwegian)

Also in the last few weeks we have had two helicopter crew changes for the Survey personnel and a short port call at Lerwick in the Shetland Isles for stores and bunkers.

Super Puma Lerwick

Above: Super Puma on Shackletons helicopter deck and approaching Lerwick in the Shetland Isles.

The most northerly location for the survey so far has been around the Magnus platform, which can be found at 61°38’ North, 001°18’ East, which was the starting point of a pipeline survey which runs from Magnus to Sullom Voe Terminal on the Shetland Isles.

We have also spent a few days around the Foinaven FPSO facility (floating , production , storage & offloading unit) which is located to the west of the Shetlands in deeper water up to 500m hence the floating facility rather that fixed and is anchored firmly in place. The Ernest Shackleton is returning to this area to finish off the survey work started last week but strong currents prevented completion, latest reports indicate the current has slackened off so the survey can now be done without the ROV getting swept off course.

Magnus Platform FPSO

Above: Magnus Platform BPs most northerly in the UK sector Foinaven BPs and FPSO anchored off the west of the Shetlands.

To the west of the Shetlands BP have another FPSO facility named 'Schiehallion' which is one of the largest producers of oil in the north sea, an estimated 30,000 barrels a day is collected from the oil fields and processed crude is transferred to a dedicated shuttle tanker with an 850,000 barrel capacity and transported to Sullom Voe Terminal in the Shetlands on a four to five day cycle.

Technical Data FPSO Schiehallion:

Length: 245 meters /Breadth: 45 meters /Depth: 27 Meters /Lightship: 42,425 mt / Deadweight: 152,360mt (at 20 m) / Displacement: 194,785 mt (at 20 m) /

Storage Capacity: 950,000 bbls / Flexable Risers: up to 24 / Wire & Chain mooring legs / Suction Anchors.

Compared to the Ernest Shackleton it is a huge vessel.

Ernest Shackleton : Length : 80 meters / Beam 17 meters / Lightship: 3,546 mt / Saltwater deadweight 1,908 mt (at 7.35 m ) / Displacement 5455 mt (at 7.35 m )

Last of all the following picture is the Ernest Shackleton in full survey mode taken from the Miller Platform on the 5th June.

The Shack in full survey mode

Above: Ernest Shackleton from BPs Miller Platform.

Events this coming week include a survey of a 22" flow line to Orka Voe, Spot dive surveys of 20" pipeline heading west to Foinaven and a helicopter crew change for the survey personnel on the 30th June.

Thats about all from the crew of the Ernest Shackleton who are all looking forward to our own crew change in about two & half weeks time which will complete our four month duty period which started on 13th March in the Falkland Islands so to everyone at home we will see you all soon !!

This weeks web page was written by Dave Bailey and almost all the photos were provided by Ray Davis the Bosun's Mate.....the Shackleton Photo was sent to us by Alan Buchan of Stolt Offshore.