28 October 2001 - Stanley at last!
RRS James Clark Ross Diary
Position at 1200: 52° 18'S, 49° 02'W
Distance Travelled since Grimsby: 11260 Nautical Miles
Air temperature: 4.4°C; Sea temperature: 5.1°C
A bright Tuesday morning saw us entering Stanley Harbour in the Falkland Islands for the first time this season. It might have been bright, but there was a cool breeze blowing and the wind has been a feature of activities this week. The picture below left shows Stanley town as we entered the harbour through the narrows, and the one on the right shows some of the gulls soaring on the updraft caused by the ship as we sailed into the harbour.
Our visit to Stanley allowed us to clear equipment and cargo from the ship that would not be required until later in the season. This will allow easier access to the cargo we will have to discharge during our forthcoming calls at Bird Island, King Edward Point (both on South Georgia) and Signy in the South Orkney Islands. There was also some additional surprise items for Robert Paterson (Chief Officer) to include in his loading plan for the holds, nothing large, just the odd 20 tonne excavator and forklift truck to keep him on his toes.
In addition to the cargo work some essential boat training was undertaken to refamiliarise the crew with the boat operations. This allowed them to refresh their skills as it is some time since we have been able to excercise the boats properly. All the deck crew were put through their paces on the Cargo Tender and below (left) we see Derek and Marc waiting their turn to drive the tender which we can see being launched, below right. Click to enlarge.
The two days spent testing the boats and crews was time well spent allowing us to fine tune all areas of the boats and sort out one or two minor problems that were identified. The Thursday's training was curtailed due to the rising wind of another storm brewing and this was to last into Friday. By the time we had our final personnel onboard, from the UK flight that day, it was early evening and the wind was blowing us against the jetty. It was therefore not wise to risk moving the ship that evening, which most people onboard appreciated as it would have meant sailing out into rough seas and a crash course in gaining your sea-legs to the new arrivals. The picture below shows Stanley harbour being whipped up by the wind while an Upland Goose grazes unconcerned in the foreground. Click to enlarge.
Stormy passage to South Georgia
The ship finally sailed from Stanley early on Saturday morning straight into a westerly gale. The saving grace of this direction is that it is almost directly behind us for our chosen route to South Georgia which means the motion is not too bad. However we dare say there are some onboard who would not agree with us on this as we understand that the Doctor has done a brisk trade on the sea-sickness tablets. Though as we write this, on Sunday afternoon, the wind is starting to moderate so everyone should be back to keeping Derek, the Saloon steward, as busy as ever at meal times. The weather has meant that the little bit of science survey that we had hoped to do on passage has failed to materialise as it was on a course that the ship could not make safely and will therefore have to wait for another occasion.
As you can see, the pictures above and below show the weather might be a little lumpy and blowy, but at least it's mostly bright and sunny. The picture above shows some of birds that are following us probably with the mistaken belief that we are a fishing boat and there might be a free meal.
The sequence below show the ships side deck this morning when the odd wave was still making it's way onboard, but as the main deck was out of bounds there was no danger to anyone, just looks spectacular. Click to enlarge an image.
The forthcoming weeks activities will be dictated as ever by the weather. So the order in which we will visit the stations on South Georgia is yet to be decided, but hopefully that period of work should be finished by this time next week and we should be embarking on the science element of the cruise. However, you'll have to log on next week to find out what actually happens.
100 Today !
Well that is the One Hundreth edition of the RRS James Clark Ross weekly diary almost complete. You might be aware that on this crew, Captain Elliott's, the page is brought to you by Simon Wright (Deck Engineer) and David Gooberman (2nd Officer) and we would like to thank all the contributors to the pages while we have been onboard. In addition recognise the contributions of Spencer Cheung (Doctor), Pippa Bradbury (Doctor) and Paul Clarke (3rd Officer) for the page writing when Captain Burgan's team is onboard.
We hope that you still find the pages informative and we'll aim to keep you in touch with life onboard along with the work and science being performed by the vessel and her crews.
Just to prove that some members of the ships company are managing to maintain the tradition of "sundowners", we find David Gooberman (2nd Officer) and Sarah Hortop (Doctor) sheltering from the wind on the outer decks.