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23 September 2001 - Down South Again

RRS James Clark Ross Diary

Position at 1200: 03°45.2' North, 15°16.5' West
Distance Travelled since Grimsby: 3819 Nautical Miles
Air temperature: 25.7°C; Sea temperature: 24.9°C

Down South Again

As we write the diary for this week you will see from our position that James Clark Ross has once more crossed the equator and passed into the Southern hemisphere - just.

The week had been a good one with bright sunny weather for the most part allowing plenty of outside painting to be done. It enabled us to catch up on those jobs that warm weather always makes easier, though I'm not sure the engine room would agree as I've heard quotes of it being forty degrees Celsius plus down in the machinery spaces! We did, however, have some rain on Friday though not enough for our intrepid scientific duo of Alex and Melanie. They maintained their vigil on the bridge with the hope of acquiring a big enough sample for them to work with. I'm not sure how successful they were at this point, but they still live in hope of even more rain.

Monday will see our arrival off Ascension Island to pick up a small party who are going to use the ship for survey work. More of this next week, when we find out ourselves.

Crossing the Line

As ever we have managed to find a few lost souls who have yet to cross the Equator - and some who assure us that they have, but the court don't believe them.

So on a nice Saturday afternoon what else is there to do but invite King Neptune on board to hold his court?

The photographs below give a flavour of the day, which despite the "mess" was enjoyed by all especially the barbecue which concluded the day.

Below left we have the motley bunch who made up King Neptune's court and his police force, while on the right we have Captain Elliott welcoming King Neptune to his court room, otherwise known as the side deck. Click on an image to enlarge it.

Members of Neptune's Court Assemble. Click to enlarge. Captain Elliott welcoming Neptune and his Queen. Click to enlarge.
King Neptune and his Queen at court. Click to enlarge. Melaine Witt on trial. Click to enlarge.

Above Left - Court is now in session (George Stewart - Bosun) and Queen Nefertiti (amply played by Lt Cmdr. George Tabaert) in attendance.

Above Right - Melanie Witt is treated to the attentions of our Barber for the day (Derek Lee). Melanie was the second before the court as Sarah our Doctor was the first. However after an unprovoked attack of spraying the court with water she was "asked" to attend the court again later...

The two Cadets attended court though like any teenager Tom Elliott the Engineer cadet (below left) was reluctant to take the medicine offered to him, while Paul Adams the Deck Cadet (below right) claimed he already paid homage to King Neptune at another court. The evidence offered was however found to be inadmissable on this occasion, (Surprise Surprise!)

Tom Elliott (Engineer Cadet) refusing his medicine. Click to enlarge. Paul Adams (Deck cadet) despite claiming he had already crossed. Click to enlarge.
Sarah the Doctor is 'done' again after attacking the court. Click to enlarge. George Tabaert alias 'Queen Nefertiti' after being condemed by the court as a spy. Click to enlarge.

As mentioned earlier, Sarah (the Doctor) attended court twice and we can see her on the second occasion above left. While Queen Nefertiti (alias George Tabaert) was accused of being a Royal Naval spy and sentence carried out as can be seen above right

To see how lightly they got off see the weeks covering 1st October 2000 and 22nd April 2001.

Man of the Week

This popular feature is back by request and this week we'd like to nominate Lieutenant Commander George Tabaert (Royal Navy) who is sailing with us to find out about the particular survey equipment fitted to the ship and how we go about our work.

George is pictured below checking the comfort of the Captain's Chair. George asked us to use this picture as his children may not recognise him from the line crossing ceremony photographs above. We'd like to thank him for his help and for not damaging the deck crew when he was asked to attend King Neptune's court as one quote heard was "He's a big lad ain't he?".

George Tabaert, checking the comfort of the Captain's chair. Click to enlarge. Click to enlarge.