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29 July 2001 - Finish of the refit !

RRS James Clark Ross Diary

Position at 12.00: Alongside at Cammell Laird shipyard, Hebburn
Air temperature: 23.5°C; Sea temperature: 15.3°C

Finish of refit and mobilising for the BGS Rockall Cruise

Firstly many apologies to anybody who has been checking out the web page over the last couple of weeks as due to work commitments it has not been possible to do an update.

JCR viewed from the cargo tender alongside at Cammell Laird. Click to enlarge We finished off the refit at A & P last week and shifted the ship across the river to the West Berth at the Cammell Laird shipyard. With no shore workers or equipment on the ship it was nice to be able to start to clean up the considerable mess of the refit which involves a lot of hard work from everybody.

So what have we been up to?

Just some of the things that have been done since the last weekly update are the re-covering of the internal stairs and maintenance of the flooring within the ship. The catering staff have been cleaning all of the inside of the accommodation. The new LAN system (see previous updates) has now been finished and is apparently working well with the whole ship now using it. The engines have been put back together along with all of the other bits in the engine room and the engineers continue to be busy doing lots of maintenance. The deck crew have been painting anything that doesn't move and washing and scrubbing the ship! The cargo tender and rescue boat have been given a run on the river and from Wednesday July 25 we have been mobilising the equipment for the BGS science cruise.

Keith and Luke painting on the funnel. Click to enlarge The deck crew scrubbing the aft deck. Click to enlarge

Keith and Luke Painting and the Deck Crew Scrubbing....
Click on images to enlarge

An inspection of the stern-gear by a diver has been carried out to investigate a problem which became apparent during the move of the ship to the South side of the river from A&P at Wallsend. The result is that the ship must go back into the dry dock again at A&P to determine and resolve the problem, thus unfortunately delaying the start of the BGS cruise.Hopefully this will be accomplished during the coming week.

One of the divers getting ready to enter the water. Click to enlarge Splash! Click to enlarge.

Diver entering water
Click on images to enlarge

Mobilising for science

The science cruise [JR64: BGS Rockall] that we will be doing when we leave here is for the British Geological Survey (BGS) and will take place around Rockall off the West coast of Scotland. This week we have mobilised all of their equipment and they have been successfully testing it to ensure it all works before we sail. There will be lots more on this over the next couple of weeks.

The rock drill sat on the pontoon - Click to enlarge To load the equipment we had to move the ship along the quay to allow the shore crane to reach our after deck, as the winch for the Rock Drill is too heavy (at 18 Tonnes) for the ships aft crane (10T). Once this was on board and we were back in position on the berth we loaded the rest of the equipment. Because the distance of the ship from the edge of the quay is too great (the drill therefore being outside the 10 Tonne range of the aft crane), the Rock Drill was landed onto the pontoon between the ship and the quay by the shore crane, then picked up by the ship's crane to land it in position on deck.
Once everything was on board and connected up we then wet tested the Rock Drill over the stern of the ship in the River Tyne.

Testing in the Tyne. Click to enlarge Landing the Gravity Corer. Click to enlarge

Testing in the Tyne

Landing the Gravity Corer

Lifting on the Rock Drill. Click to enlarge

Lifting on the Rock Drill

And so this is how it looks when it is all in place.

Looking down from the Nav Bridge deck. Click to enlarge The view across the aft deck. Click to enlarge

Looking down from the Nav Bridge Deck

The view across the aft deck

Coming up......

We will be in and out of the dry-dock, taking bunkers and sailing for the science cruise.

Also for those of you who don't know we are going to be in Portsmouth for the International Festival of the Sea on August bank holiday weekend.

Written by Paul Clarke (Third Officer)