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Sept 21 - Back in print!

Date: Sunday 21st September 2003

Position noon: 25° 04.8'N  020°45.4'W 
Distance travelled since Immingham: 2698 NM
Air temperature: 25.2°C
Sea temperature: 25.3°C


Back in print

We're back at last and we must firstly apologise to our regular readership for the slight gap in our usual weekly service. When the diary last appeared you saw Captain Burgan and his crew heading towards Immingham (on the River Humber) to load the vessel for the forth-coming 2003-2004 Antarctic season. The crews then changed over on the 8th September with Captain Elliott's team joining, or rather I should say at this point Captain Paterson's, as he has taken command for our voyage southwards as far as the Falkland Islands.

So we would like to say thank you to Mike Gloistein (Radio Officer) for holding the website fort during a busy summer and prior to that to Alex Ramsden, last season's Doctor, for the huge efforts he put into the diary during his ten months onboard and for giving some of us time off.

Now as we start a new season your weekly guides, via the diary pages, pass to one set of new hands and a very old set on the diary scene. So in the tradition of the page, Emma Wilson, our Doctor for this season, has agreed to be involved. She will be assisted by Simon Wright (Deck Engineer) at least until the next crew change! (Ed. - he hopes!)

Emma enjoying the sunshine before the snow!. Click to enlarge. Simon on deck; What no boiler suit!. Click to enlarge.
Emma enjoying the sunshine before the snow!. Click to enlarge. Simon on deck; What no boiler suit!. Click to enlarge.

The Voyage So far.

Having completed the crew change on the 8th September, the ship was invaded once more by the AMT science party and their apparently endless piles of equipment. Someone did say there were nearly ten tonnes of it and we can well believe that to be a true assessment. Despite all of this, a huge effort by all onboard meant that the ship was ready to sail on the afternoon of the 10th September. Below we see a couple of images from our departure. From L-R we have Calum Hunter our Third Officer "down aft" as we depart the quayside; then the ship entering the lock with a very nice sign from the port authority and finally we break free of the lock and head into the River Humber as we begin our voyage south once more.

Callum 3/O at mooring stations. Click to enlarge. Bon Voyage. Click to enlarge. Departing Immingham Lock. Click to enlarge.
Callum 3/O at mooring stations.
Click to enlarge.
Bon Voyage.
Click to enlarge.
Departing Immingham Lock.
Click to enlarge.

However, as people wander the ship, comments were made about two rather large areas of the deck with nothing on them. It was these spaces that prompted our detour into the shadow of the Isle of Wight. During the summer two of our boats had been on their "holidays", to be repaired and serviced ready for another busy season. We are of course talking about our passenger workboat/launch and cargo tender landing craft. The first of these can be seen returning to the ship in the picture below. However, for those who don't know what our cargo tender looks like may we suggest a glance at the virtual tour.

The workboat/launch returning to the ship. Click to enlarge.
The workboat/launch returning to the ship. Click to enlarge.

After spending the daylight hours at anchor we once more headed westward into the setting sun with science preparations continuing apace in readiness for the start of the southbound transect. The cruise we are doing is called AMT13, or Atlantic Meridional Transect 13. We don't intend describing the science too much this week, we shall save that pleasure for another time (Ed. - when the authors have learnt something more like!). So for those keen to find out more information sooner, may we direct you to a diary page from the pervious northbound leg by clicking on the following link AMT12.

Once the vessel reached its first way point and turned southwards a routine started to develop. That is of straight sailing during most of the day just being interupted by twice daily stops for sampling. However, we had left the UK with an extra passenger in the shape of Kjetil Aasaekjær, a service engineer for the manufacturer of the ship's survey equipment. He's an old hand on the JCR having sailed with us before to fine tune the equipment in readiness for forthcoming surveys. This did, however, mean a slight detour to the Azores to allow him to escape. So last Thursday morning saw the ship sliding into the anchorage of Ponta Delgada to be met by the Port Officials, but within half an hour we where on our way again. In the pictures below you can see the port as it was seen from the ship. The other effect of coming in such close proximity to land is the sight of people wandering the main deck with mobile phones clutched to their ears, making that last minute call before losing the signal for several weeks to come.

Porta Delgarda and harbour launches from the JCR. Click to enlarge. Nick Millward and his phone!. Click to enlarge.
Ponta Delgada and harbour launches from the JCR.
Click to enlarge.
Nick Millward and his phone!.
Click to enlarge.

A Refresher Course

One thing that never changes, especially after four months leave, is the need to train and bring everyone onboard up to date with new equipment. So at the first opportunity a teach-in was held for the ship's company to refresh their routines and practices. In the pictures below we see (L) Calum Hunter (3rd Off) and Tom Elliott (3rd Eng) checking out one of the escape sets. These are situated below decks to allow people to escape to fresh air and safety should an emergency ever arise. In the picture below on the right we have the first aid party practicing their stretcher handling, though we think that they are going to need a little more practice as we don't think they are supposed to put the Doctor in the stretcher!

Callum and Tom with an escape set. Click to enlarge. Hamish and Derek strap Doctor Emma into the stretcher . Click to enlarge.
Calum and Tom with an escape set.
Click to enlarge.
Hamish and Derek strap Doctor Emma into the stretcher .
Click to enlarge.

Finally we have our mystery man competition or should we say the rescue boat suit fitting. Obviously from the left hand photograph this sailor might require a "slightly" smaller size, which thankfully there is!

Who is the mystery man!. Click to enlarge. Here is the answer!. Click to enlarge
Who is the mystery man!. Click to enlarge. Here is the answer!. Click to enlarge

We were going to leave everyone in suspense as to who the mystery sailor is and announce it next week, but as lots of us thought we had a new AB when we saw Lester with his new beard on joining, I'm sure not many of you would guess correctly either!


So Until Next week...

We'll leave you for this week with the expectation that we might have crossed the Equator next Sunday. On the otherhand we might not have! You will just have to wait, as we will, to see what science has in store for us over the coming week....