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29 Sep - Across the equator

RRS James Clark Ross Diary

Noon Position: 27.43.5 Deg N, 39.53.9 Deg W 1628.6 Nautical miles from Stanley
Distance Travelled since Grimsby: 5526.4 Nautical Miles
Days since leaving Grimsby: 19
Air temperature @ Noon today: 28.3°C
Sea temperature @ Noon today : 20.7°C
Weather: Good, NNE Force 6, scattered cloud, rough following sea, low swell.

Into the Southern Hemisphere.......

Crossing the line

The good ship James Clark Ross and all her crew steamed over the equator last Monday night at 20.30. Everything was very black outside and so nothing could be seen and nothing really changed. Despite several excited people aboard who were experiencing a nautical crossing of the equator for the first time, the rest of the crew were remarkably unimpressed. Quite whether is was the hot weather, the lack of scientists or a lack of deck space but King Neptune's court was never convened and several highly guilty members of the crew slipped across the line without being charged. Carli, Kevin and I didn't recieve the expected judgement that is normally handed out at this time of year ( Crossing the line Traditional ) and were relieved not to be covered in smelly slops. (I've got a feeling he'll be summoned next June! - Ed).[correct in that assumption!]

Drills and more drills

Every week all the crew take part in a drill of some description. The first officer thinks of a cunning plan and pretends to set a bit of the ship on fire, or throw a man overboard so the rest of us can practice our emergency drills. This week we all had fun playing with the 4 different types of stretchers we've got onboard.

Cadets come in useful for some things, and this week it was to be carried around in a stretcher to give everyone a feel for the difficulty encountered trying to get a casualty around the tight corners and narrow stairs of the ship. Carli was voluteered and had a pleasant time being carried around the boat deck. We then moved outside into the rain and both Alpha and Bravo parties practised carrying the ship's dummy (some people say the ship has more than one - Ed) up and down several flights of stairs in a Paraguard stretcher. George (the dummy) had a lovely smooth ride down to the deck and back but did complain about getting slightly wet in the process. We tried out several different techniques of getting up and down the stairs and certainly everyone improved their patient handling skills considerably. Thanks to Carli for being the crash test dummy.

Carli the human battering ram? George the dummy given an uplifting experience

Above: Carli on the stretcher (L) and George the dummy having an uplifting experience! (R). Click on the images to enlarge them.

Department of the week

The ship is quiet at the moment with no scientists or passengers so it is a good chance to introduce some of the different departments on the ship and also get in some comedy photos! First by random selection is the Engineering department. These are the boys in white boiler suits who make sure the propeller keeps turning, the beer fridge stays cold and we don't run out of hot coffee. They are also wreak havoc with the rest of the crew by regularly setting of a variety of noisy alarms with Tom being an expert in this field. Watching Tom rushing off down to the boiler room to answer an alarm whilst trying to get dressed is an amusing sight that we haven't been able to catch on camera as yet..............but will! Click on the images below to get a larger version.

The boss

The man who holds the power in his hands


Big brother is watching you..... Famous quote 'Well I don't think so'

It's an engine Jim but not as we know it

Jim Stevenson and the most important engine on the ship.....the lifeboat.

Where's zone 37??

Tom Elliot playing with his purifier. Famous quote 'Take me home, please...Doctor'

'where's the engine room?'

Bruce (Left) and Angus with a new design for a motor!?!Famous quote 'Where's the engine room?'

This is Broadsword calling Dannyboy....over

Doug the deck engineer takes charge in an emergency drill. Famous quote 'Have I shown you my image stabilizers.......?'


Carli catching some rays. Famous quote 'Where's the steering gear??'

The boys (and girl) with their toys

The whole team together with a selection of their favourite toys.

Where are we?

The JCR has all sorts of machines that go ping and whizz on it. Some occasionally produce a nice picture of where we are and tells us what the weather is like outside so the engineers never have to come out from their dark caverns below.

The Dartcom showing the satellite footprint
The Dartcom
Click to enlarge

The Dartcom delivers satellite images of where we are in the world so we can see what the weather or ice is like in the surrounding area. The first image shows the globe with the footprint of the picture that is available, the sun position and the position of the JCR. When a suitable area is within sight of the satellite we down load the image. The resulting picture is an image from space of the sea or land around us.

On the image below, we can see the coast of Brazil on the left side of the screen. The JCR is about 220 miles off the coast with a little light cloud overhead but enjoying the fine sub-tropical weather. Today we travelled 322 nautical miles towards the Falklands at an average speed of 13.4 knots with the help of the Brazil current and a following wind. Hopefully we'll be in Stanley next weekend. We also sighted the first true Antarctic bird, a cape petrel, which had come up to Brazil to feed.

The JCR off the coast of Brazil
Click to enlarge

Thanks to...... Kevin for having a 21st birthday this week. A good excuse to celebrate the birthday boy. Cheers Kev!

Coming up next week...... The Falkland Islands!