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17 June 2001 - Polishing and Painting

RRS James Clark Ross Diary

Since the last update work has continued on the hull of the ship with the final paint going on, on Friday. The windows for the Swath Bathymetry (that were installed last summer and used successfully over the last year) have been replaced and the propeller has had its yearly polish. Our propeller is made from solid stainless steel and has a sharpened leading edge for when we are ice-breaking.

Polishing the propellerThe super shiny prop!

Painting the bridge-front As well as this the bridge-front and sides of the accommodation have been painted or just touched up as necessary. The photograph shows the painters using a cherry-picker sat on number 2 hatch

The hull before painting. The hull after painting.

The hull - before and after painting.

Installing the new local area network

Russell running cables. One of the biggest jobs being undertaken during this summer is the installation of a new Local Area Network for the ships computer system. This involves renewing all of the data cables that connect the ships computers to the main server which will mean the ships computer network will be faster. This work is being carried out by Lorne Stewart, and we have the pleasure of having Keith, Russell and Paul who have informed us that they will be installing approximately 600 sockets (they call them terminations) and some 20 kilometers (!!!!) of network cabling. Once this is completed every cabin on board as well as the bridge, engine control room and the science labs will have network connections. The photograph shows Russell running cables.

Finishing the dry dock

Flooding the dock. As Saturday and undocking approached, the final preparations were being made. After the last touch ups of paint, there was a hull inspection by the Master, Chief Engineer and Chief Officer prior to permission being given for flooding the dry dock. They also inspected the dock bottom to ensure there are no debris left over from the refit, which could block engine intakes or damage the thrusters or propeller.

Engineer carrying out initial checks. The dock is initially flooded to 3.5m which is deep enough to allow water into the engine intakes. This enables the ships engineers to prime the pumps and start the generators and check the sea valves for leaks. Once the Engineers had completed all their checks the dry dock was fully flooded.

Tug Yarm Cross assisting us onto the berth. Once the dock was flooded, the gates were opened and the ship could depart. The shift out of the dock was a "dead ship move", this means that we could not use the propeller and rudder. The ship was heaved out of the dock using the mooring winches until the stern was clear of the gates, then a tug was made fast aft which pulled us clear of the dock. A second tug was made fast to the bow, we then moved to the riverside "wet" berth with their assistance. The picture shows the tug Yarm Cross assisting us onto the berth.

Coming up, we will be testing the lifeboats, rescue boat and starting the overhaul of the main engine and refrigeration plant. Full report next week.

Written by Paul Clarke (Third officer)
and Andy Liddell (Second officer)

Weekly diary entries