Our site is using cookies to record anonymous visitor statistics and enhance your user experience. OK |  Find out more

Skip navigation

16 September 2001 - Sailing South

RRS James Clark Ross Diary

Position at 1200: 30°04' North, 17°02' West
Distance Travelled since Grimsby: 1762 Nautical Miles
Air temperature: 26.7°C; Sea temperature: 24.4°C

Sailing South away from the wet and windy weather (But great for windsurfing! - ed)

And so another season begins, the ship has been loaded and we have all joined to take her South for the start of the Antarctic Season, as we refer to our operations in the austral summer. This will mean we are engaged on mostly logistical tasks i.e. supplying the research stations and exchanging personnel. Though this involves hard work it is the most enjoyable period for the ship's crew as you are always going somewhere and it gives us the best opportunities to enjoy the Antarctic wildlife and scenery.

We will be doing some science on the ship during this time, in fact we our doing some right now. Two scientists (Alex Baker and Melanie Witt) from the University of East Anglia are taking air and rain samples as we sail along, though hopefully not too much rain! We will describe this work in more detail when we have worked out what is happening, though it does demonstrate the type of work that we shall do up until the end of the year i.e. underway work will have relatively little impact on our logistic role. The full scale science programmes this season will be done by the other crew in the new year.

As we write this we are passing the Canaries enjoying the warmer climes with thoughts drifting towards sitting out on the afterdeck at the end of the days work (for those not on watch!) and wishing away the trip. Sounds dreamy eh ?!

For those of you out there it is good to have you back checking up on us, hopefully we shall manage to inform our new readers about the places we shall visit and work done and still manage to give the old hands something new to look at. Well that's our story anyway.


Those familiar with our life-style in the Merchant Navy will be aware of the set up on here regarding emergency drills. As we tend to get a little rusty on leave, when we return to the vessel lectures are instigated on various items to refresh all in the first week - from firefighting to breathing apparatus. From engine room stops to operating the GMDSS (Radio) equipment. Here we have some photos of the more "exciting" lectures.

Under Training. Click to enlarge. Scott and some foam. Click to enlarge.

Scott Baker (3rd Officer) going through some new methods of delivering foam if we ever have the misfortune to experience a fire onboard.

Jim in a CO2 haze. Click to enlarge. Kenny in a BA set. Click to enlarge.

Jim Baker (Seaman) practicing his technique with a Carbon Dioxide extinguisher- (both Jim and Scott wish it to be known that they are not related!) Also, Ken Weston one of our Stewards is caught modelling a self -contained breathing apparatus set.

Click on images to enlarge.

Our Journey South

As mentioned earlier we are passing through the Canary Islands this afternoon having passed Madeira last night. This is the last chance to check that those mobile phones still work. From there we shall pass down the west coast of Africa on our way to Ascension Island to perform a few days survey work while we are passing through!

While we are going south and the weather improves we are busy onboard getting all those outside jobs done before we arrive in the spring weather of the southern latitudes which we can initially expect to be similar to what the UK has experienced over the last week.