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14 January 2001 - And so it's Goodbye From Us

RRS James Clark Ross Diary

Noon Position : Stanley, Falkland Islands.
Distance travelled since Grimsby: 17,244 nautical miles
Air temperature @ noon: 12.5 degrees Celsius
Sea temperature @ noon: 11.8 degrees Celsius

We are approximately half way through the ship's Antarctic season and it's time for Captain Burgan's crew to hand over to Captain Elliott and his team. They are expected to arrive on Friday and the present crew are booked to fly out the following day. Since last week's webpage we have returned to the Falkland Islands after successfully completing the science programmes and are now alongside at Stanley. As everyone is busy with last minute jobs, including hand-over notes etc.. there hasn't been much news to report, and so I thought I would send back some photos of the present team, as I know some people haven't featured in the webpage over the last few months - apologies, but you must have been hiding.

The Deck Officers. Click on image to enlarge The Engineering Department. Click on image to enlarge

Deck Officers - Justin (2nd Officer), Jerry Burgan (Captain), Neil (3rd Officer), Graham (Chief Officer)

Engineering Department - Rag (3rd Engineer), Duncan (Chief engineer), Keith (Electrician), Colin (2nd Engineer), Gerry (4th engineer)

I know I have not properly acknowledged the Deck Officers and their work. I apologize. They are the team that always manage to get us where we want to go, despite the weather and the scientific demands - a multi-talented bunch, their job certainly does not involve only driving, although their ice-bashing skills and iceberg-avoidance tactics have been gratefully accepted. The smooth running of the entire operation both on and off the ship is down to these guys!

The engineering department is pictured on the right. If they look a bit pastey this may be due to fact that they rarely get to see natural light - I'm intrigued as to what the "Antarctic Experience" must be like from the bowels of the ship. These guys not only keep the ship going but look after and provide all our creature comforts such as heating or air conditioning depending on the latitude. Many thanks.

The Deck Engineers. Click on image to enlarge The Motormen. Click on image to enlarge

Deck Engineers - John and Doug

Motormen - Dave and Scanner

John has only joined us over the last month and will be staying on with the next team; he is mainly involved with making sure all the scientific work runs smoothly. Doug needs no introduction as he has featured regularly throughout the trip, and yet despite this, his wife apparently still claims the RRS Ernest Shackleton's webpage is better than ours - traitor.

Somehow I have managed to get a picture of the motormen sitting down - a rare sight! The constant supply of jokes and wind-ups from Scanner never ceases to amaze me, I'll definitely miss them.

The Deck Crew. Click on image to enlarge

The Deck Crew - Keith, Dave (Bosun's mate), Kelvin,
Colin (Bosun) and Luke

Above are the true "Salty Sea dogs" of the ship. They are involved in all manner of jobs, maintaining the deck side of the ship, scientific operations and watch keeping on the bridge. I must thank them for their wildlife spotting and quick tactics at alerting all and sundry about what's out there - apart from me, who manages to miss everything.

The Galley Team. Click on image to enlarge The Stewards. Click on image to enlarge The Infamous Hamish. Click on image to enlarge

The Galley Team - Rif Raf, Tracey and Danny.

The Stewards - Simon, Shadey and Lee.

The Infamous Hamish - Catering Officer

Many many thanks to the very important folk who make sure we all get very well fed and watered. It has been fantastic, and as for service with a smile, you can't beat yours Simon. Special mention should be made to say goodbye to Simon who is moving over to RRS Ernest Shackleton where he'll be weilding the knives with his new promotion to Second Cook - congratulations.

The Sundowners Club. Click on image to enlarge

"Sundowners Club" - Doug (again), Me (Doctor) and Steve (Radio Officer)

There are two people still not mentioned, mainly as they truly belong to no department,. So they have taken on the identity of a club, started last year by Doug the Deck and Steve, called the Sundowners Club!! Both Steve, Doug and I (feeling a bit lost and lonely) have managed to have a club meeting nearly every evening, The Sundowners Club involves assembling come rain/hail/snow/gale or shine on the aft deck for a much needed end of the day refreshment, a practice that has been sustained since the vessel departed Grimsby so many months ago. I hope I will find a successor to join me in this important part of the daily routine. We would all like to send a hearty thanks to all those that have contributed to our soirees, with their generous supplies of olives, peanuts and wit.

You may have realised from the page that although all the crew are changing there are a few hardy (or maybe foolhardy) souls staying on. Yes, John Summers and I will still be here when we return to Grimsby. Although I'm not leaving I am handing over the responsibility of the webpage back into the hands of Simon Wright and Dave Gooberman, and I look forward to reading it.

Weekly diary entries