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Jul - Refit

RRS James Clark Ross Diary

July 2003

Position: Portsmouth Naval Base

Following the vessels return to the UK on June 17th and the discharge of cargo and scientists, preparations were then made for the annual refit.

On Friday 20th June a reception was held on the Bridge to celebrate the retirement of Captain Stuart Lawrence, who was Master of RRS Bransfield from the early 1970's and then of RRS Ernest Shackleton. Also marked were the retirements of Ken Olley (Catering Officer) and Norman Thomas (Electrician) as well as a 25 years service (with NERC) award to Duncan Anderson (our current Chief Engineer).

On Saturday 21 June the vessel sailed from Grimsby and steamed overnight to Portsmouth, arriving on the Sunday afternoon.

Initially the vessel was docked in 'A' Lock whilst the final preparations were made to 'C' Lock, and then on Wednesday, 25th June, the short move was made and once correctly positioned in 'C' Lock the water was pumped out and the James Clark Ross slowly settled onto the blocks on the dock bottom and the refit could get fully underway.

The dry-dock period is always a hectic one for Officers and Crew, trying to get all the jobs that need to be completed done in an orderly fashion, with many jobs relying on other work to be completed first.

The following images are a selection taken during the drydock period. Click the image to enlarge them.

The ship from aft - Click to enlarge
A general view looking down the ship from aft

Preparing the hull - Click to enlarge
High pressure washing, preparing for the painting of the hull

Prop and rudder - Click to enlarge
Looking across the dock at the propeller and rudder

Scaffolding on the ship - Click to enlarge
Ship encased in scaffolding to enable painting of the Aft and Mid-ships gantries

Undoing the plug - Click to enlarge
Undoing the plug to empty the water to enable inspection of the tank

Shower anyone? Click to enlarge
Anyone for a shower??

As I write this page the refit has almost come to an end and the vessel will be preparing to sail once again. The current intention is to mobilise a group of scientists from the Southampton Oceanography Centre and then sail on Friday 25th July.

The cruise will be in the region of the South West Approaches and should be completed on 14th August, when the scientists will disembark in Cork.

All being well I will try and post further pages as time allows.