Last updated: Monday 28th November 2017   

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On my last update I posted lots of,  dare I say,  stunning images from our first day in Börgen Bay and I will be posting more tonight.  These show beautiful scenes with mirror smooth seas and this has been the case throughout Tuesday.  By about 16:00 there was a ripple to be seen on the sea surface and some clouds were starting to form on the peaks of the mountains.  Two and a half hours later and visibility was reduced and the wind was blowing over 40kts.  Antarctica is not a place that can be taken for granted and the weather can change very quickly and with little warning.

Overnight Monday the weather had also changed and it was very cold and snowed rather a lot,  but by the time I looked out it had changed back to clear skies and sunshine.  A good indicator of how cold it was overnight is the formation of new ice on the sea,  which can be seen in this picture.

Snow sitting on the top of the containers and in the cargo tender this morning.  By late morning most of this had melted.

Yesterday I mentioned the British Antarctic Heritage Trust and their use of Port Lockroy.  This afternoon I called them again on the VHF radio to say an early goodbye,  as the JCR will be leaving this site late tonight,  and I had a nice chat with one of the four staff spending the summer at the base.  It seems that today they had been out counting penguins.  There is a gentoo colony on the island and the count came to 594 nests and over 900 eggs.  One hopes that there will be sufficient food in the local waters to rear as many eggs as possible.

Another view from this morning with the new sea ice forming.

  The glider team.  The ship has six gliders on board that will be deployed later in the week.  I am looking forward to seeing the Wave Glider being deployed as I think it is a wonderful feat of engineering.  The team have spent the few days ensuring that all the on board systems are operating and that the gliders have established good communications,  something that is vital for a successful mission.

  Sorry about all the lovely pictures,  but it has been so nice here.  This is the view of the CTD being deployed with a glider out on deck also.

There is a reasonable amount of ice in the bay where we are working and it is not sitting still.  This,  from time to time can present a problem if trying to deploy or recover an instrument.  You can see that there is a lot of ice beneath the water and for me it is the reflection of the mountains that make this picture.

Another view from Börgen Bay.

More ice in Börgen Bay.  I have spent most of my day working on the window wipers and so have been outside on the front of the Bridge.  With all the science work taking place aft it has been a very quiet spot to work and one of the enjoyable parts is listening to the sounds from the bay.  At one point there was a small (probably several tons) break from the glacie which was a distant roar of thunder,  at others the sound of a small bit of ice rolling as it's centre of gravity changes due to erosion below the surface.  Then there was the call of penguins,  which have been swimming about the bay since we arrived.

Clouds starting to form on the mountain tops this afternoon,  a clue to the change in weather that we have now seen.

At this stage of the update  I have run out of ways to say 'stunning views'!

Another lump of ice in the bay with a good view to it's depth.

The current plan is to depart from Börgen Bay late tonight and proceed around the southern end of Anvers Island,  passing the American Palmer Station.  Normally I would give them a call on the VHF but due to the time both they and I will be tucked up in our beds.  Looking at the ice images the James Clark Ross may have to work through a band of pack ice (which will then mean I will be awake as it tends to be a bit jerky and noisy) before getting into open water and heading to the glider deployment site.  The first of the gliders should be deployed on Thursday.

The science team have a blog about their work on board and it can be read HERE

Noon Position Report Tuesday 28th November 2017 

Latitude: 64° 42.21 S
Longitude: 063° 27.02 W
Bearing: °T, 1 Nm from Anvers Island
Cruise Number: JR17001
Total Distance Travelled: 859.9
Total Steam Time: 74.4
Total Average Speed: 11.6
Wind: Direction variable, Force 1
Sea State: Calm
Air Temp: 1 °C Sea Temp: 0.5 °C
Pressure: 983 Tendency (3hrs): Rising

 

Previous updates from the current trip.

Previous updates from my last  trip,  to the Arctic in the summer of 2017

Mike Gloistein
gm0hcq @ gm0hcq.com