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Aug 17 - Into Cork

Date: Sunday 17th August 2003

Position at 1200 BST: 51°29'N  011°48'W  163 NM from Cork
Wind: W x Force 5
Barometric pressure: 1009.4
Sea state: Moderate
Air temperature: 18.2°C
Sea temperature: 18.2°C
Weather: Overcast,  fine and clear.

This week started with the last days of the Southampton Oceanographic Centre (SOC) science cruise,  the last CTD being completed at 1700 on Tuesday.  This was followed by packing of all equipment as the vessel made for Cork.

The passage into Cork is a stunning one.  The harbour entrance is at  Roches Point, from where the ship passes through The Sound,  between Fort Davis and Fort Meagher (built to defend the harbour),  then past Spike Island (the site of  Fort Mitchell) and then past Cobh (pronounced Cove),  from where the great liners (including the Titanic) set sail for America.  This then leads into Cobh Road,  past Haulbowline Island (a small naval base) and then up the river Lee.  The distance from the harbour entrance to our berth,  at Horgans Quay,  was 14 miles.

JCR entering Cork Harbour - Click to enlarge

Above: The James Clark Ross entering Cork Harbour,  with Fort Davis and Roches Point in the background.  Courtesy of Kim Cooling. Click to enlarge.

Whilst in Cork the SOC scientists departed for home,  and were replaced by BAS personnel, who embarked to undertake a trials cruise.  Also visiting the vessel were a number of service engineers who were upgrading the ships dynamic positioning system and EM120 echo-sounder systems.  Two Norwegian engineers sailed with the vessel to conduct some of the trials at sea.

All onboard took the chance to enjoy the hospitality of Cork and,  combined with some lovely weather,  a good time was had by all.  There were a number of visitors to the ship during our stay,  including some relatives and ex-marine personnel.

Sadly,  all good things come to an end,  and so at 1900 on Saturday 16th August,  with a Pilot onboard,  the gangway was lifted and the James Clark Ross moved off Horgans Quay and turned slowly,  then sailed back down the River Lee and past Cobh to head for open water and the start of the trials cruise.

The River Lee,  looking towards Cobh from Cork - Click to enlarge The beautifully painted houses at Cobh - Click to enlarge

Above: L-R:  The River Lee,  looking towards Cobh from Cork. The beautifully painted houses at Cobh. Click the images to enlarge them.

Intentions: The trials will continue for some time,  and will also serve as a training period for the BAS technicians onboard.  The James Clark Ross is due into Immingham,  on the River Humber,  on the 27th August,  when preparations will be made for sailing south for the beginning of the 2003/4 Antarctic season.