Jan 10 - Farewell Montevideo
The James Clark Ross left Montevideo on the 10 th of January following a crew change.
We briefly stopped off at Stanley to collect a sediment sampler, on the way to Rothera. The Ship rolled to 35degrees crossing Drake’s Passage, tipping Nick the E.T.O. out of his bed, and breaking most of the doctor’s porcelain ballerinas.
Fresh from a 4-0 pasting by the crew of The Endurance, and being thrashed 1-0 by The JCR in December (see photo) the Rothera football team decided to take on The Ship again….
Following a cagey start, with both sides squandering possession on the slippery surface, Tom “pup” Elliot scored a “wondergoal” for The James Clark Ross, volleying in with his shin from 2 yards. Tom was then booked for his trademark bare-chested taunting of both of the opposition supporters. Early in the second half a goal by Kai gave Rothera some hope, only to be dashed by a late moment of individual brilliance by former Real Madrid striker Dave Edge. Some acrobatic late saves by Rob Larter, playing through the pain barrier, kept out a determined Rothera. Glen and Duncan dominated the JCR defence with displays reminiscent of Hansen and Lawrenson…
After leaving Rothera Andy Clark celebrated his birthday onboard in the traditional manner, right hand green, left foot yellow, and a 3 rd Engineer’s face perilously close to his groin.
After leaving Rothera we embarked on a two week cruise involving the ISIS remotely-operated vehicle.
The following extract written by Emily Dolan from the National Oceanography Centre explains what happened next…
Egyptian Goddess of Fertility Loses Her Virginity in Antarctica
When asked to write an article for the PG Chronicle about my adventures down South (to Antarctica, that is, not Southbourne), my first instinct was to describe the immense beauty of the landscape and its inhabitants. But of course, the intention behind this cruise aboard the JCR is what makes the adventure so unique and a pioneering contribution to science.
This is the first time our beloved ROV, Isis, will dive with a scientific purpose, and the first time human eyes will get a glimpse of the abyss surrounding this magnificent continent. Although ROVs have been used here in the past, they were restricted to the shallower waters of the Antarctic Shelf. Isis, named after the Egyptian Goddess of fertility, is a deep-diving ROV capable of reaching depths of 6500m.
Our team consists of thirteen scientists (six geologists from Cambridge, and six biologists and an engineer, NOCS) along with seven ROV pilots. The geologists are investigating “glacial morphological and sedimentary features of the sea bed in order to interpret their implications from former subglacial environments”. The biologist’s primary goal however, is to become arm-chair explorers, discovering a new world from the safety of the ROV control room!
Dive number one was an exciting and equally nerve racking experience for all involved. This was Isis’ thirteenth plunge, after several trial cruises, but being a superstitious lot (and for logistical reasons), the count was reset. The science dives to date (of which there have only been two) have been an overall success, though that’s not to say without teething problems. One worth mentioning was the sudden inability of the science camera to move from side to side. The cause was quickly resolved when one of the pilot cameras, used for navigating the ROV, was directed at the science camera to find a reasonably sizable fish wedged in the rigging. Ironically, due to the nature of the initial dives, this is our first and only catch so far! Minor technical problems should be sorted subsequent to dialling the ROV Hotline (yes, there really is one…press ‘one’ if you forgot to tie your Remotely Operated Vehicle to the ship…). With this aside, we’ve seen an array of wonderful fauna including sea pens, corals, anemones and a variety of sponges and fish. The expression on Prof. Paul Tyler’s face as we are confronted with these magnificent critters, many of which are likely to be new to science, is priceless! And to quote one of our pilots, James Cooper, “It’s like the Discovery Channel uncut!”
So, in summary Isis, an Instrument for Supremely Interesting Science, can no longer be nicknamed “Irretrievably Stuck in Southampton” but instead Is Successfully Investigating South!
The cruise finished with bathymetric survey of Bourgeois Fjord, with an opportunity to visit the seldom-explored Blind Bay and The Lliboutry and Peroutz glaciers.