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26 May 2002 - it's getting warmer..

RRS James Clark Ross

26th May 2002

Noon Position : 11 deg 45.9' South, 35 deg 3.8' West, eighty miles off the coast of Brazil

Distance Travelled since Grimsby : 45428 Nautical Miles

Air temperature @ Noon today : 27.1 degrees C

Sea temperature @ Noon today : 27.8 degrees C

Since the last update - it's getting warmer..

Firstly apologies for no diary last week, but hopefully we'll make up for it now and get back into the swing of things from here onwards. Our last update had us north of South Georgia completing our acoustic fish survey and about to start the long trek northwards as winter is fast approaching in the southern hemisphere. The beginning of May is the latest that the ship has been this far south, I believe, in her life and was accompanied by various comments about the short hours of daylight being experienced. I suppose when we're used to having the long daylight hours of midsummer when we are usually in those regions we have just been spoilt. By comparison today finds us in another world as we sail into the tropics and it's a mixture of sunshine and rain showers, but they are warm rain showers. The showers also bring with them some wonderful rainbows. The one below could be seen right alongside the ship, unfortunately too close so the camera couldn't capture all of it.

Rainbow. Click to enlargeOne consolation of the rain showers Click to enlarge.

So what have we been doing? The voyage north from South Georgia took us almost directly to Montevideo, the deviation being to deploy some bottom pressure recorders, but more of that later. We could only stay in Montevideo for one day this time as we were still catching up time after our late departure from the Falkland Islands. Though it did allow us just enough time to get some jobs done and fresh stores loaded. It also allowed most people the chance of a couple of hours ashore. Last Monday saw us on our way north once more and next Tuesday should see us crossing into the northern hemisphere and onward to Grimsby.

Buoy deployments

Our way north from South Georgia allowed Geoff Hargreaves and Michael Smithson from Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory (POL) to deploy three more bottom pressure recorders (BPRs). These were deployed in a triangular formation about 200 miles apart and will sit on the seabed for the next year recording the pressure of water above them very accurately. Then next year, we'll come back and release them from their anchors allowing them to float to the surface and be recovered to access the data recorded. I understand that the data from these instruments will be used to check the accuracy of a satellite which is passing over the same area. The picture below shows Geoff and Mike fitting the instrument into the tripod frame which will be it's "home" while on the seabed.

Geoff and Mike assembling the bottom pressure recording inot it's frame. Click to enlarge Geoff and Mike putting everything together for deployment.. Click to enlarge

Going, Going & Gone, well you might be able to sea the BPR just below the surface in the sequence of photographs below showing the deployment.

Going. Click to enlarge Going. Click to enlarge Gone. Click to enlarge


It's always nice being close to the main gate of a port and we certainly managed it this time in Montevideo. The anchor of the German Pocket Battleship "Graf Spee" greets you as you come through the gate and you might be able to make out in the photograph below the James Clark Ross just behind it. For a potted history of Montevideo for those new to the diary please click here

The anchor of the Graf Spee with JCR in the back ground. Click to enlarge The anchor of the Graf Spee with James Clark Ross in the back ground. Click to enlarge

During our last visit to Montevideo, between Christmas and New Year, the Captain hosted a cocktail party onboard the ship for the British Ambassador and people who have dealings with BAS in Uruguay. This was such a great success that members of the aviation industry insisted that they be allowed to reciprocate if time allowed. Although it was only a brief call we were anxious not to offend our hosts very kind invitation to a meal. So a group arranged their work to allow a few hours off on Sunday afternoon and a wonderful time was had by all. Our hosts had even arranged entertainment in the form of the Southern Cross Pipe Band who can be seen below.

The Southern Cross Pipe Band. Click to enlarge The Southern Cross Pipe Band. Click to enlarge

After entertaining us the band then joined us for some tradition fare cooked Asada style i.e. over a wood burning fire

Enjoying our meal. Click to enlarge Enjoying our meal. Click to enlarge

Our host then asked Ken Olley our Catering Officer for his opinion on the beer and wine which he was more than happen to do in one word - brilliant!

Our host asking Ken our Catering Officer for his opinion on a bottle of beer. Click to enlarge Our host asking Ken our Catering Officer for his opinion on a bottle of beer. Click to enlarge

Those leaving us..

Most port calls have some good-byes from people who have completed their work onboard and Montevideo was no exception with the departure of the scientific parties of JR72 and JR74. You may notice a couple of the ship's company have sneaked into the leaving photograph below. We'd just like to assure the family and friends that Ken Olley and Robert Paterson were escorted back onboard immediately after the picture was taken and are still here.

Leaving us. Click to enlargeLeaving us. Click to enlarge

Fashion Statement of the week - A White Boilersuit, not for long!

Jerry showing off a white boilersuit. Click to enlarge Jerry showing off a white boilersuit. Click to enlarge

As a variation on our Man of the Week slot I thought we'd go for fashion item and the relatively rare sight of a sparkling white boilersuit on an engineer, namely Gerry Armour our 3rd Engineer in this case. It is my sad duty though to report that it is no longer this white, even after several washes it's been impossible to regain that fresh from the packet look.