Aug 14 - High and Dry
Noon Position : C Lock, Portsmouth Naval Base
Air temperature @ noon today : 20.1 ° C
Sea temperature @ noon today : Unknown ° C
Wind: SWxW Force 3
Barometer: 1017.1 hPa
The James Clark Ross remains high and dry with the refit work carrying on over the past week. For most onboard now the time has come were we just want to be floating once again and doing what we enjoy........science at sea! However we will have to wait just a short while longer before this becomes a reality.
This past week has seen the propeller and the rudder fitted back into place, the hull work on the new acoustic reference system is moving along and should be completed in the next few days, general maintenance by the ships company continues and light can almost be seen at the end of the tunnel.
I was asked a question this week by one of our regular readers about how dry the dock bottom looks. The dock is designed so that any water that leaks into it from either of the 'locks' is fed down drainage channels on either side of the dock, and this is then pumped out. This leaves the rest of the dock dry for working on. The locks do leak a small amount of water, but not enough to cause any problems.
The one joy of being in Portsmouth is that there is lots to see in our spare time. The Historic Dockyard is full of fascinating sights and much can be learned about life at sea. With so much to see it is perhaps a good job that we have been here for several weeks, as there is too much for a single day.
Outside of the dockyard the area of Old Portsmouth is also full of interesting sights......not to mention some lovely pubs and restaurants and is worthy of a few hours wondering around.
The latest attraction to Portsmouth, The Spinnaker Tower, has been in the news recently when someone broke in during the early hours of the morning, managed to get to the top of the observation platform, and promptly jumped off and parachuted to the ground below! Not my idea of early morning exercise. However the Spinnaker Tower is a wonderful sight, and, with heavy rain clouds behind and the sun shining on the front, proved a stunning sight.
There is a small commercial fishing industry in the vicinity of Old Portsmouth, and numerous boats of varying shapes and sizes can be seen.
The above picture gives me the chance to mention that we have had a change of 2nd Officer. Dave King has headed off for some more 'schooling' (at Warsash Nautical College), where he will be studying for his 'Mates' ticket. He has been replaced by Chris Handy (who had to be pried from the side of a French mountain!). Chris has worked for the BAS for a number of years on the Ernest Shackleton and is fresh out of college himself. He seems to take nice pictures too, so all being well there will be more from him in the weeks ahead.