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11 March 2001 - The End of JR59 and Return to Stanley

RRS James Clark Ross Diary

Noon Position : F.I.P.A.S.S., Stanley, Falkland Islands.
Distance travelled since Grimsby: 24,616 nautical miles
Air temperature @ noon: 12.6 degrees Celsius
Sea temperature @ noon: 10.2 degrees Celsius

Home again In Stanley

You find us today back in Stanley, our resident port in the Southern Hemisphere, having arrived this morning at the end of our latest scientific cruise (JR59). The last week has seen us leave the main work area around Alexander and Adelaide Islands off the Antarctic Peninsula, and head Northwards. It was not straight home as that would be just too easy, and after all we are here to do science, so we spent two more days adding to the survey described in our southbound report. Fortunately the weather was much kinder than on that previous occasion allowing the work to be done in relative comfort. The map (below left) shows the final and completed route taken since our last Stanley call. The relief map on the right shows how the seabed looks in the survey area in the middle of Drake Passage. It should be noted that for the complete survey the work includes the data acquired by the Spanish research vessel Hesperides in the 1997-98 Antarctic season.

JR59 cruise track. Click to enlarge. A relief map of the Drake Passage survey area. Click to enlarge.

On completing the survey we continued northwards once again, although this time the sea had built up just enough to give us a little rocking and rolling. This coincided with us crossing a relatively shallow area about eighteen hours South of Stanley, known as Burdwood Bank. Here the sea bed is only about 100 metres deep having risen from 4000 metres relatively quickly and so helping to magnify the wave action. It may make life a little difficult for a few hours, but at the end we all have a few days in Stanley to look forward to.

Stanley this time allows us to embark the personnel for BAS's new station being completed at King Edward Point, South Georgia and which is about to be formally opened. This we shall cover in more detail in forthcoming weeks.

So from Stanley we say good-bye to the cruise personnel of JR59, pictured below, of Carol, Peter and Chris though we are keeping Mark for a couple more weeks to help with the project taking place on our trip to South Georgia. Though no doubt some of the crew will be asking him to undertake more repairs to personal electrical equipment when off duty.

The Scientific party for JR59. Click to enlarge.(Left to right) Carol Pudsey (PSO), Peter Morris, Chris Drew and Mark Preston.

The rest of the fleet goes sailing by

Guess who we saw on Friday evening? Yes, British Antarctic Surveys other vessel the RRS Ernest Shackleton heading south to complete her work for the season. The ship had come down from Montevideo having undergone a crew change, which is described on their page. The work will include delivering the final items of cargo to Rothera and uplifting all those personnel not staying for the winter and then leaving those persons wintering to settle into their living and working routines.

RRS Ernest Shackleton. Click to enlarge.The RRS Ernest Shackleton sails by in the evening sunshine.


Sunset from the JCR. Click to enlarge.Well our choice anyway, as it was a very nice sunset though maybe not in the classic style. We hope you enjoy it all the same.

Weekly diary entries