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21 April 2002 - Amazing stats week.....

RRS James Clark Ross Diary

Position at 1200: 54° 34.0'S, 50° 06.6'W - 330 NMiles SE of Stanley
Distance steamed since we left Stanley: 7238 Nautical Miles
Air temperature: 4.9°C; Sea temperature: 4.8°C
Weather : Cloudy, fine and clear, Visibility - good, Wind - WNW force 6, Sea State - moderate to rough sea and moderate swell, Not a bad day!

Current, frequent weather observations reported back to BAS Headquarters in Cambridge is used to plot the ship's current position and recent track. Meteorological data are also available from this page. The callsign of RRS James Clark Ross is ZDLP.

Amazing stats week.....

The last two weeks have been spent doing much the same as before, we finished off the swath survey we began last week and moved on to another area to do the same work there. We would like to include the track charts that we normally use to show you where we have been but as this cruise is a commercial contract, we unfortunately cannot do that.

So instead this week we have been putting our counting heads on and have come up with some amazing statistics for the last 3¾ months, since we joined in Montevideo! We have also had some pretty awful weather with it reaching up to force 12 with wind speeds of up to 70knts and the pressure falling very low so that has provided some salty pics!

Looking behind us. Click to enlarge Large waves from the bridge. Click to enlarge
Well it saves washing the decks! Click to enlarge The view from the saloon. Click to enlarge

Above: Clockwise from the top left......view of the aft deck, a view from the bridge, the view from the saloon and water on the aft deck (well, it saves washing it!!). Click on the images to enlarge them. Apologies for the fact that these were taken through the window...... but we were NOT going outside!!

A graph from our heave, pitch and roll (HPR) sensors. Click to enlarge

This images shows a graph of our heave, pitch and roll (HPR) sensors. The red line on the HPR graph is where the bad weather started, as you can see there is quite a difference! Click on the image for a larger version.

The sattelite image of the storm. Click to enlarge

As you can see from this image, we are right in the centre of this storm.....nice! Click on the image for a larger version.

Our barograph trace for the last week. Click to enlargeThis is the barograph trace for the last week showing the atmospheric pressure, as you can see it dropps to 959HpA (or millibars for some!) which is pretty low. The thicker line is where the ship is pitching and rolling, it makes the stylus with the pen in it jump around! Click on the image for a larger version.

Amazing....well sort of interesting facts!

While on the ship the Deck Officers and AB's normally work watches of 4 hours on and 8 hours off, on the bridge; we have worked out therefore that as our trip total length was 121 days, we have spent 8 days in port, that makes a total of 113 watchkeeping days at sea, So........

This equals 226 watches each
Which is 904 hours on the bridge
Approx 452 cups of tea each (allowing 2 per watch!) which between all 6 of us is 2712 cups - This does not include the Sparky or the Doc, Sarah!!
Approx 19kg of biscuits
Approx 80litres of milk
We will have had 363 meals each ( allowing 3 per day)
Which for the whole crew (not including scientists) means a total of 9801 for the trip!!

Some science stats.....Compiled by Dave King 2/O

When you put a list of these things together you see just how many abbreviations we use on the ship, if you don't know any then we suggest looking back through previous weekly updates as it is all there somewhere! Good luck (and no prizes!)........

So, we have done the following:

XBT - 124
UOR - 13
CTD - 101
RMT - 26
LHPR - 8
SVP - 6
PES Fish - 3
STCM - 5
Bongo Nets - 140
Neuston Sledge - 18
Drifter Buoys - 20
Multi Net - 1
Vibro Core's - 45
Box Cores - 16......NB; We took around 160m of cores on JR71
Piston Cores - 4
Seismic profiles - 3
Magnetometer runs - 2
Gravity Cores - 1

As well as this we have done a ridiculous number of square miles of swath bathymetry seabed survey. At least 40,000 sq km, on the last cruise down around the Larsen Ice shelf alone without this current cruise!!!

My first trip South........by Johnnie Edmonston
(BAS ITS Staff (aged 33½, but seems like a lot more at times!)

Johnnie in his 'bat cave' AKA the computer office. Click to enlargePart One - The flight (See also update for Week 17 and subsequent weeks)

My first trip south with the JCR began with an 11pm flight out of Heathrow Airport on Saturday 29th December. All in all it wasn’t such a bad flight, once you got over the cramp from sitting in the same position for 11 hours or so. We also got the chance to eat the latest in rubber technology – looks and tastes almost like real food! But you know it's not because it bounces round your mouth when you chew it. You have to do that to allow the food to build up enough velocity to fly down your throat bypassing the gag reflex.

A brief stop at Sao Paulo to change aircraft for the flight to Montevideo was a welcome chance to stretch our legs and laugh as a senior scientist dropped her passport. No one said anything however, and we boarded the plane for Montevideo, expecting to see her dragged off for some corrective punishment. At Montevideo we landed safe and sound, and got another chance to stretch our legs. After 15 hours or so of flying we stood around in the airport for an hour and a half whilst the local agent for BAS and local customs argued the toss over what to do with us, confused by the fact we all had one way tickets, which presumably had never happened before at such a major seafaring port.

Our intrepid senior scientist, having discovered she was minus her passport, was busy explaining that she wasn’t in actual fact a yakuza drug lord on an exchange visit, but actually a perfectly respectable scientist and yes, that was her own underwear and she did pack that bag herself. Many curious and interested BAS personnel at this point presumably reverted to type and started taking pictures.

BAS rule: If it moves – photograph it. If it doesn’t – photograph it twice.

Eventually scientists and crew all trooped onto a waiting bus for the trip to the port and the JCR.

Part Deux – The JCR.

The arriving crew wished the departing crewmen well with the usual amount of good-natured wind-ups, taunts, and claims about close-family members. No photographic evidence of such claims was ever produced so all bets were off and so was the bus, to many well wishes and accompanying gestures. Unpacking personal kit and scientific gear now being foremost on the minds of this intrepid band of BAS professionals, cabins were issued to the scientists and the crew headed for the first of many days of hard labour.

Evening saw most folk head into town, a huge difference from when we left England, here we were on December 30th heading into town as the day slowly cooled into a comfortable summer evening, and to think we were missing out on freezing winds and rain at home, naturally we were gutted at the thought. Monte streets were quiet, the view picturesque as the BAS hordes ascended to the Meat Market to partake of lots of food and drink.

A potential Olympic sport was born as nighttime arrives; crew and scientists alike were ship jumping (Jumping ship perhaps? - Ed!) for Britain, eager to shake off 16 hours travel. Almost everyone was in town, no doubt drinking the good health of the watch keepers who had to stay on the ship. By the end of that night, they would be very healthy indeed. I had my first taste of a Monte steak that night. On arrival most appetizing it looked too, when I cut it open however, it started to bleed over my chips! Most disconcerted, being a Brit by birth and habit, I’m used to meat being burnt to a crisp.
“I’ve got a bloody Steak!” I yelled.
“Of course you’ve got a bloody steak, you bloody ordered it.” said Paul, the sympathetic 3/O with both eyes rolling skyward, (opposite directions I might add).
“Anyway, if you wanted it well-done you should have said”.
Being hungry, I ate the bloody thing.
Bloody good it was too, the chips were a write off however.
After the meal, we trooped off to meet up with another horde of BAS folk who were camped outside a café enjoying the pleasant evening.

New Years Eve saw the scientists unpacking their gear in preparation for the impending cruise, many hands light work. Many hands also kept out of the way and lent moral support. PC’s, Nets, a UOR and many other interesting, and expensive, bits of kit were unpacked, assembled and readied for sailing the next day.

Part Three - New Year

New Years Eve also saw all hell break lose in Monte. A few of us in wandered in to town to have a look at how the Montevideans (?) celebrate New Year. The streets were littered with thousands upon thousands of torn up calendars and diaries; it was like a ticker tape parade. Shops and businesses were all still open and people went about their daily business in a strangely nervous fashion, glancing skywards every so often. As we wondered about the strange puddles placed sporadically down the street, Richard leaps sideways, yelling “folk” (close approximation), as a couple of smartly dressed people in suits are drenched in a couple of buckets of water emptied for a window somewhere in the office block towering above us. This was met with laughter, not just from us, but also from the victims! A far cry from England’s pleasant street traditions at Christmas and New Year, try that back home we thought, and you’re likely to wake up in hospital with a card addressed to Gummy Bear.

Bemused and amused we carried on into town, darting from doorway to doorway glancing upwards. You cant soak us, were British don’t you know? Fantastic I thought, what a brilliant way to see out the old year. As nightime fell, many of us decided to find out how they saw in the bells here, so we set off into town again. We had heard the odd firework going off down by the port throughout the day but thought nothing of it, fireworks are after all, becoming popular back home at New Year as well.

Sitting outside the Manchester bar, (home of the bloody steak), at about eight or nine in the evening, enjoying a quiet pint, someone set off what felt like a transit van full of fertilizer. Alarms were going off up and down the street, cars and shops all flashing lights, and us all blinking and wondering what the hell just happened. Pretty soon we saw the culprit, a bloke down the street ran out into the middle of the road with a cylinder about a foot long, set it upright and legged it. Another colossal bang followed, alarms went off once more, and people laughed and pointed again, and went back to what they were doing. Again, the man wandered into the road, set up another bomb, lit and ran off down the road. The thing fell over. He ran and danced around a bit, trying to decide which way was safest, as it wasn’t going to go vertical this time, it was going horizontal. This is not a good thing. After about 3 seconds of Brownian motion he decided his best bet was to turn into thin air and vanished. His bomb went off, as expected, down the street and once more alarms went off.

The bells were quiet. Sat in a deserted pub, with only the staff there, we were happy to find Montevideo erupt into a pyrotechnic frenzy a few minutes after midnight. Like legged it up the road to buy some, coming back with an armful of charges and small bombs he began the process of destroying more explosive material in half an hour than the IRA have since starting decommissioning. Suitably deaf, but happy we set off to find a better pub. But that’s another story.

Two people found a very busy nightclub, that is also another story (Note to wife: that wasn’t me).

New Years Day. 0800: Boat drill, muster at emergency stations at 0800 for a boat drill, don lifejackets and board the lifeboats. The JCR being terribly efficient at safety drills, we also went for a sail around Monte harbour in the sealed fibreglass lifeboats whilst the sun beat down on it at around 30°C. Beki helpfully pointed out, trapped between Luke and I, that we stink. We agreed, that yes, we did, in all likelihood stink, and so did our hangovers. Oh how we laughed off our hangovers as we baked throughout our little jaunt, typically British to the end we were. Believe that and you’ll believe anything. It might have been clever but it wasn’t funny, and we were all glad to get out the boats and get on with the business of getting ready to sail that afternoon.

A sad farewell was bid to Monte and we sailed at approx 3pm local time...........

This will be concluded in the final update of this trip next week.


Dave the 2/O for his stats, Pete Lens for pics, Steve for met images and Johnnie for his 'diary'

Coming up next week.....

Johnnies second instalment, The end of the survey, heading back to Stanley and the last web page of this trip for us before handing over to the other crew.