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Oct 14 - Cape Verde

RRS James Clark Ross - Diary Update - 14th October 2007

Noon Position - Lat: 10° 41.6' S Long: 034° 29.1' W
Location - 260 Nm North East of Salvador, Brazil
Total Distance Travelled: 4550.0 Nm from Immingham, UK
Air Temp: 25.8°C
Sea Temp: 26.0°C

James Clark Ross Tracking Map

Webcam

Cape Verde Islands

Dawn on Monday saw us passing the eastern end of Santo Antão Island, this is the north-western most island of the Cape Verde archipelago on our way to the neighbouring island of São Vincente and its harbour of Porto Grande.

Ilhc3a9u De Santo Antc3a3o

Ilhéu De Santo Antão in the early morning light.
Click to enlarge. (SAW)

 

Our reason for calling was to allow the science party to disembark now their work is complete, we were also collecting a new crew member. Things didn't go quite to plan as on our arrival off the port we found out that the crew member was still at the international airport on a different island around a hundred and forty miles away. However, by early afternoon we were able to enter Porto Grande which has the town of Mindelo on its eastern shore and carry out the personnel exchange. The image below is a view of some of the bay and the town of Mindelo produced by Johnnie Edmonston.

Panorama

Porto Grande is the largest port in the islands and is obviously prone to windy conditions. This is if the wind farms on the surrounding hills and the odd ship washed up on the beach is to be believed. It was quite breezy during our brief call, prompting a few discussions regarding the suitability of the conditions for windsurfing by those interested in that sort of thing.

For me one of the striking images was the islet of Ilhéu Dos Pãssaros. This is a volcanic seamount sitting in the entrance to the harbour and is crowned with a white building and staircase, the purpose of which did cause some debate onboard due to the amount of work that obviously went into its construction. Hopefully you'll appreciate what we mean from the photograph below.

Ilhc3a9u Dos Pc3a3ssaros

Ilhéu Dos Pãssaros
Click to enlarge. (SAW)

This wonderful structure is in fact a lighthouse that was built in 1882 and is still in use today. The light standing on the very top of the rock with this amazing staircase leading down to the original light keepers cottage. This used to also act as a signal station although it is unmanned today.

On departing the Cape Verde's we continue southwards towards the equator.

Crossing the line

Friday morning at 06.30 the James Clark Ross crossed from the northern hemisphere into the southern. This event once more prompted a visit by King Neptune and his court. The traditional ceremony took place for the six new people travelling from north to south for the first time. The ceremony started with the Captain welcoming King Neptune and his court onboard and leading them to the assembled court room. An announcement was then made summoning all those who haven't crossed before to attend the court, of course knowing of their guilt they go into hiding. This results in Neptune's police force being dispatched to search for them and to persuade them to attend the court. On this occasion we had six new recruits. The ceremony ends with a BBQ for all hands on deck as the sun goes down. The pictures below show some of the proceedings.

 

Captain escorting King Neptune (s)
Nicola Robinson receives her medicine
Captain escorting King Neptune and his attendants to the court room.
Click to enlarge (SAW)
 
Nicola Robinson receives
'Dr' Nick's medicine.
Click to enlarge (SAW)

 

Ruth McCabe paying for her 'crimes'
Johnnie Edmonston Morris Dancing
The real ship's doctor Ruth McCabe paying for her 'crimes' before the court.  Click to enlarge (SAW)
 
Johnnie Edmonston shows that a Scotsman can morris dance!
Click to enlarge (SAW)

 

With the equator crossed it is all down hill from here. Another week should see a drop in the average temperature outside. Though hopefully not too drastically as the temperature in Stanley today was 14 degrees and we'll still be a little to the north next Sunday. We can hope, but guess we'll just have to wait and see what the coming days hold in store.

SAW