22 Dec - Late arrivals
Noon Position : 670 31" 9' S 700 12"4' W
Distance Travelled since Grimsby : A long way.
Air temperature @ Noon today : 1.20 C
Sea temperature @ Noon today : -0.40 C
Weather : Good, NE, 2, 990.7
The joys of the tristar flight from Brize Norton to the Falklands were enjoyed by our new batch of scientists for slightly to long this week. Expecting the flight to arrive on Monday morning we were all set to depart Stanley that afternoon and head south. However, due to unexplained problems, the RAF flight via Ascension was stuck in the UK for an extra 48 hours and so our new team arrived on Wednesday. The poor lot arrived exhausted and not happy bunnies but were glad to finally arrive. Once stafely stowed in their cabins, the JCR headed straight for the Drake Passage and Rothera. Leaving two days late we looked forward to a five day passage to Rothera if the ice conditions were good. The Drake Passage was very kind to us and we enjoyed calm seas and made excellent progress.
We welcomed a number of passengers on their way into Rothera for a stay of anywhere between two weeks and two 1/2 years! We also have a collection of oceanographic scientists from the UK.
During the crossing we had a few brief scientific tasks to complete such as calibrating instrumentation and retrieveing some bouys. Mike and Steve from the Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory tried to recover a buoy that has been hiding at the bottom of the sea for a couple of years. Technical difficulties prevented recovery but we will endevour to have another go on the way back to Stanley next week..........
So here is a nice sunset picture to make up for the lack of buoy shots!
Christmas is coming.
With festive times close at hand it was time to start decorating the ship. Christmas decorations were dug out and strewn around the bar, lights were made to work by Doug and the tree was given pride of place in the bar. As there are not many trees in this part of the world we were lucky to have one. Getting trees to stand up straight is difficult enough at home but in the Drake Passage it is particulary difficult to get it to stay up as the ship rolls around. Fortuanately we had a couple of mast erectors we are taking into Rothera on hand to sort it out. Wayne and Neil did a great job and the tree never moved despite all King Neptune could throw at it. Cheers lads.
We make excellent time down the outside of the Antarctic Peninsula and after only a few hours of breaking through heavy flows we arrived at Rothera in the late afternoon on Sunday 22nd of
December. We immediately started on unloading cargo once we had tied up. This time there was open water up to the jetty and no ice needed to be cleared. It is great to be back and things have
changed quite a bit over the last few weeks. The Bonner lab has come on lots and the snow is slowly retreating. More of our adventures at Rothera next week......
Thankyou this week to all the FIDs going into Rothera who helped make it such a great passage.
Coming up next week......Rothera, Christmas, Port Lockroy, Science, Icebergs, Swimming!