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Mar 09 - Volunteer Point

Date: 9th March 2004

Noon Position: Noon position lat 51 40.9 S long 57 33.0 W (12 nautical miles from Stanley)
Distance Travelled since Immingham: 21609 Nautical Miles
Air temperature: 9.2°C
Sea temperature: 11.6°C

The JCR this Week.

This has been a busy weekend for us, changing over from one cruise to another, restocking the ship and having a few hours ashore to stretch the legs and enjoy the sunshine in Stanley.

The weekend was spent, busily demobilising JR 77/ 78, and preparing the ship to undertake her next fishing cruise. We sailed again today, with the ship "full to the rivets" with biologists, oceanographers, ecologists and their support staff, heading south once more, towards South Georgia. There we will spend the next four weeks studying the water, the fish and the plankton.

Our arrival into and therefore our departure from Stanley was a little delayed by a certain other ship, occupying "our" berth! The Ernest Shackleton was in town and it was a good opportunity to catch up with her and her crew.

RRS Ernest Shackleton. Click to enlarge

Shackettes. Click to enlarge

The "small" ship. Click to enlarge.

Iain Airth, Nigel, doctor Sue Dowling
and dentist Ben Molyneux, a few of the "Shackettes".
Click to enlarge.

However, it is nice to know our ship is a real pot of gold.....

 JCR, at the end of the rainbow. Click to enlarge Click to enlarge.

Hello Mum!

Many people reading this will have received phone calls from their relatives or friends travelling on the ships. So here are some images so you can picture us when we are calling you.

The FIPASS phones. Click to enlarge View by Dave Gooberman. Click to enlarge

The FIPASS phones. Click to enlarge.

View from the phone box. Click to enlarge.

Science Bit In The Middle.

During the past 3 months, we have been towing an instrument behind the ship. The magnetometer, fondly referred to as "Maggie" is towed 200 m astern of the ship, and records magnetic variation in the rock which makes up the ocean floor. This enables the scientists to calculate the age of the ocean floor, thus adding to the overall picture they can build up with swath bathymetry, dredging and mud sampling.

The Maggie is almost always out, being pulled back in only when the ice is too dense, or when the ship is "on station", that is stationary for scientific operations. Pulling it in is a manual job, and is heavy work.

 Photo by Julia Sas. Click to enlarge The deck crew pulling in the magnetometer. Click to enlarge.

JR 77/ 78 was a very successful cruise, with exciting new discoveries being made up to the last minute. Not only were many of the "right sort" of rocks dredged up, but some of the "wrong sort" were also found. This type of rocks has never before been found on oceanic ridges, making this a first ever finding.

We are sorry to say good-bye to Peter Morris, who has been with us since December. I am sure he will be glad to get back to his own home, but he will be missed on board. His many hours at the swath bathymeter made us begin to suspect he had superhuman powers, so when Julia captured the photograph below, no-one was surprised!

 Photo by Julia Sas. Click to enlarge Peter Morris- flying? Click to enlarge.

 Photo by Julia Sas. Click to enlarge The JR77/ 78 science team. Click to enlarge.

Volunteer Point

A few lucky people had the opportunity to visit the Falkland Island's largest King penguin colony on Monday. On a beautiful summer's day, Claire, Liz, Kate and myself set off with our guide Tony Heathman on a two hour drive along dirt tracks and across twelve miles of peaty bog to get there. The colony sits on a peninsula just to the north of Stanley. To get there we passed close to Tony's farm, one of the strongholds for the marines during the Falklands conflict. He and his wife Ailsa farm 3000 sheep. Their hospitality is legendary and many a FID has stayed at Estancia, their home.

The penguins at Volunteer Point have their nests and burrows behind the sand dunes, from where it is only a short walk, across the pure white sand, to the sea. There they have to brave a line of surf and a few patrolling sea-lions to get out into open water where they can feed.

King penguin. Click to enlarge Penguin footprints. Click to enlarge

King penguin on his way home.
Click to enlarge.

Penguin footprints in the dunes.
Click to enlarge

Gentoos. Click to enlarge Gentoo. Click to enlarge

A group of Gentoos under a huge Falkland's sky.
Click to enlarge.

Solitary Gentoo, in a hurry.
Click to enlarge

 Kate and penguin. Click to enlarge
Kate Cresswell on the beach with a King penguin.

A final thought ...

This week's beautiful sunset was provided by Johnnie Edmonston, our IT guru.

 Sunset by Johnnie Edmonston. Click to enlarge
Sunset over FIPASS, with Stanley in the background. Click to enlarge.

Next week...... fish (we hope)!