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Jun 12 - Back in the UK

Sunday 12th June 2005

Noon Position : Lat 50° 34' N, Long 002° 26 W - Alongside Q5 Berth,  Portland Harbour.

The RRS James Clark Ross,  under the command of Captain Elliott,  arrived back in the United Kingdom on Thursday 2nd June 2005, when she berthed at Portland,  Dorset.    This marked the end of the 2004/5 Antarctic Season,  with the cargo from down 'south' being  discharged.

A crew change took place over the weekend of 4/5th June and Captain Burgan took  command of the vessel at 1800 on Sunday 5th.

Portland from the air
Portland from the air.  Photo Jon Illsley

The James Clark Ross will remain in Portland until the 26th June, when she will steam to Portsmouth to take part in the International Fleet Review on the 28th June (see below for further details). Whilst at Portland there is lots to keep us occupied. In the Engine Room two of the engines are being given a service, the Mid-ships Gantry has been removed to be overhauled and painting of the outside of the vessel is taking place. Work is also being carried out around the accommodation, with minor repairs being carried out.

Mid-Ships Gantry being lifted off.
The Mid-Ships Gantry being removed for overhaul. Photo M.Gloistein

No2 Main Enginer overhaul
No 2 Main Engine overhaul in progress. Photo M.Gloistein

Whilst this is not the first visit by the vessel to Portland, it is the first time that any length of time has been spent here and all onboard are slowly getting to know the locality, with Weymouth just a short bus ride away. This part of Dorset has lots to offer to anyone who enjoys the outdoor life, with walks, cycle paths, fishing, sailing and diving (to name just a few) all available nearby.

Portland is seperated from the mainland by Chesil Beach,  which stretches some 17 miles from Portland (which is really an island),  and His Majesty, King George III, spent much time in this part of the County. The King was the Lord of the Manor of the Royal Island of Portland.  The shingle and pebbles of Chesil Beach are ranged and shelved, according to their sizes. Small shingle carpets the silt and sand of Burton Beach, increasing in size uniformly, to the very large pebbles with a span of several inches, which lay at Portland Island.

The James Clark Ross at Portland
The James Clark Ross alongside at Portland.

International Fleet Review - 28 June 2005

Since the reign of Edward III, British sovereigns have reviewed their fleet off Spithead, off Portsmouth. The last such event took place for the Queen's Silver Jubilee celebrations in 1977.

This review will commemorate the bicentenary of the death of Admiral Lord Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar, carrying on the 600-year-old tradition of Fleet reviews, this time extending into a modern symbol of international maritime friendship and co-operation. Ships will arrive in the Solent from all corners of the globe. Naval ships from some 40 nations will join the Royal Navy, merchant vessels, Tall Ships, and thousands of sailing craft of all shapes and sizes.

Following the Fleet Review the James Clark Ross will then enter Portsmouth Harbour and take part in the International Festival of the Seas.  More information on this next week.

The JCR webpage always tries to provide images of local wildlife and this week is no exception:

Spotted on a hedge
A nest of caterpillers spotted on a hedge. Photo M.Gloistein