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08 April 2001 - Onwards and Northwards

RRS James Clark Ross Diary

Noon Position : 13° 21' South, 35° 41' West.
Distance travelled since Grimsby: 29,290 nautical miles
Air temperature @ noon: 29.0 degrees Celsius
Sea temperature @ noon: 28.3 degrees Celsius

The Engineers are back...

We thought this week we would have a slight change of order and have our department of the week first. You can tell the weather is getting warmer as we've managed to tempt the engineers up from the bowels of the ship once more, though some do claim to work on deck all the time! This time we even got them to bring some tools of their trade and no we are not auditioning for a George Lucas movie that's just Norman the Electrician with a fluorescent tube!

The Engineers. Click to enlargeThe Engineers. Click on image to enlarge.

So from left to right we start with the 'Gaffer' otherwise known as Dave Cutting (Chief Engineer), then Mark Robinshaw (Motorman), Norman Thomas (Electrician), Simon Wright (Deck Engineer), Steve Eadie (4th Engineer), Charlie Smith (Motorman), Glynn Collard (3rd Engineer), and last but not least the master of the air conditioning Bill Kerswell (2nd Engineer). Don't worry about Glynn wearing the welding mask it's just that he's shaved his beard off for the hot weather and did not want to scare his relations.

Heading Onwards and Northwards

We have spent the last week ploughing our way up the Atlantic towards Brazil and the port of Recife, which is just on the country's most easterly area of coastline. It is here that we shall spend part of the next week loading our science party and their kit for the next cruise.

You could say we've had a quiet week people wise, with just two of our cruise technical staff (Andy and Jim) in addition to the ship's normal complement. This has allowed a flurry of activity on the painting and maintenance front generally throughout the ship, but more obviously on deck where science prevents working some of the time. Of course the main reason has been good weather and warmth. The last item is not some thing we have seen too much of the last couple of months, but then this is the Antarctic Survey.

Yesterday as a relief to the blank horizon (we've only seen four ships all week). Who should appear, but no other than our friend from the Antarctic Peninsula the sailing vessel Europa. She was on a similar path heading for Salvador, just south of Recife, before heading back to Holland. Our common course allowed for us to sail close by to say hello and for the Captain to speak briefly with old friends after they had called us up on the VHF. Of course the opportunity for some picture taking could not be missed and the result of one is shown below.

Passing by Europa. Click to enlarge Europa. Click on image to enlarge.

We must point out it's not been all work and a habit of the aft deck line up has developed shortly after 5 pm most evenings when the chairs are arranged to watch the sun going down. This ceremony is often accompanied by a beer to refresh ourselves after the heat of the day and most pleasurable it is too. Mind you better not be late otherwise you miss it as the sun is gone from the skies by just after half past five, at which point the chairs can be turned to watch to moon rise if so required.

Watching the sun go down. Click on to enlarge "Watching the sun go down after work". Click on image to enlarge.

Friday evening even allowed our first barbecue of the year, an event many of us are looking forward to repeating in a couple of months time when we start our summer leave. However, first there is some more science and a port call in Recife to do and it is on our way to the next science area that you will find us next week.

Weekly diary entries