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Nov 12 - Signy

Date: 12 Nov 2006 Observation Time: 12:00 Local Latitude: 60 41.8 S
Longitude: 45 34.4 W
Bearing: 41 °T, 1 Nm from Signy

Distance Travelled: 26
Total Distance Travelled: 2018
Steam Time: 6.1
Total Steam Time: 357.3
Average Speed: 4.6
Total Average Speed: 5.6
Wind: Direction N, Force 7
Sea State: Slight
Air Temp: 5.1 °C Sea Temp: 0.0 °C
Pressure: 991 Tendency: Falling

1752 Complete base relief for day, vessel proceeding offshore for night
1823 vessel stopped in fast ice
0235 Ice drifting to south @ 0.7 kts, vessel breaking out of ice,
proceeding to north
0423 vessel on D.P in clear water
0506 vessel reloacting north into clear water
0540 vessel on DP
0722 vessel relocating
0850 vessel on DP
1015 Vessel proceeding up to Normanna strait to clear ice out of bay

The last fortnight has been punctuated by frequent attempts to reach the Signy research station. Fast ice (see below) prevented access using small boats, but was not thick enough to allow cargo relief by Skidoo. On the 10th of November we finally managed to drop off the base personnel and Keith the electrician to get the base up and running. Essential cargo was then carried by hand over to the base.

Signy Research Station cargo relief
Signy Research Station cargo relief

Signy Research Station cargo relief
Signy Research Station cargo relief

Some features of Ice (From "A Complete Guide To Antarctic Wildlife" by Hadoram Shirihai, except the bit about Newcastle).

Fast Ice - Sea Ice attached to the shore
Pack Ice - more or less continuous cover of ice on the sea, with annual thickness of c.3m. pancakes coalesce to form solid layer of floating ice.
Growler - piece of floating glacier, which is too small to be an iceberg. Float low in the water and can be dangerous as they may not be detected on the Ship's radar (altogether different meaning in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne).
Polynya - area of open water within pack ice, which may be important to marine mammals.

Fast Ice
Fast Ice

Pack Ice
Pack Ice

In between attempts to reach Signy the science continued, fishing to 1000m brought up this "Horror of the Abyss".

Borostomias Antarcticus
Borostomias Antarcticus

The light organ beneath the eye contains bioluminescent bacteria, and is used to catch prey.

James and Derek hosted a "Family Fortunes evening".

A comedic masterpiece
A comedic masterpiece

Ladies form a queue....for the lifeboat
Ladies form a queue....for the lifeboat

This weeks special offer...

For a limited time only....

We are proud to offer a limited edition of “Sepia Heroes” prints. Painstakingly fabricated from digital photographs these pictures faithfully fail to reflect true Antarctic heroism. Just one glance at their craggy features is enough turn the stomach of the most seasoned buccaneer.

Very Important Notice...

Demand for these exquisite reproductions is likely to be unprecedented, these fraudulent "mini-masterpieces" are available for the incredible price of £599.99 per pixel. SEND NO MONEY NOW (unless you are insane). Payment can be made by 2400 monthly instalments of £599.99.*

Print 1. The Chief Cook


Ashley, 18, former member of Newcastle boy-band “Six-Nowt”, once wrestled a 600lb Elephant Seal that threatened his kiwi fruits.

Print 2. The Doctor

The Doc
The Doc

Don't be fooled by the boiler suit and double-handed cup hold, this man has never been outside. His favourite film is Pretty Woman, he has the limited edition box-set of "Fat Friends" (featuring Gaynor Faye) in his cabin.

Print 3. The Purser

The Purser
The Purser

The juxtaposition betwixt bald head and iceberg does scant justice to the true heroic status of this gentleman. A seasoned veteran of the windswept portacabin known as the "Halley research station", Richard enjoys gritty war movies and is currently working on the definitive creme brulee.

*If you do not keep up your payments the men in these photographs will come round during shore leave and take your video, they may do so anyway.