Last updated: Thursday 30th November 2017   

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The James Clark Ross has arrived at the deployment area for the gliders.  Some of you will have noticed that the ship has headed north,  upon completion of this work the ship will then head south and to Rothera.

Smoko this morning!  If you either follow my Twitter feed (@gm0hcq) or just view the posts at the bottom of this page,  you will have seen that I re-Tweeted a picture taken by Pips,  our Doctor,  of myself,  the Doc and Rich (the best looking Purser in the fleet) enjoying smoko on the Bridge the other day.  Smoko is the word we use for the tea breaks at 10:00 and 15:00 and it involves a good cup of tea or coffee and a lot of banter.  From time to time the Galley send tab-nabs to the Bridge and the other messes and this morning these arrived just in time for tea. 

Today has been spent deploying the various gliders that we have on board.  This is  a delicate task as the instrumentation on the front of these gliders is very sensitive.  It is for this reason that we can't,  sadly,  just launch them over the side of the ship!  A special lifting frame is used and once the glider is in the water a wooden pin is pulled out (attached to a rope) and the glider is released.  The scientists will be monitoring the progress of all the gliders released to make sure that they are operating correctly.

The Wave Glider is lifted off the deck to be deployed this morning.  The yellow section at the bottom of the glider will be suspended some 6m below the main body and then relies on the interaction between the two,  via a connecting cable,  provides the propulsion for the glider. 

A lot of ropes are attached to the glider.  The glider has to be held securely until released and it is important that the lower section is not released before the whole instrument is in the water.

The Wave Glider in the water with the lower section starting to sink.  This is a tricky point in the operation as there is a cradle that the upper section has been attached to and it needs to be pulled clear.  All went as planned and the Wave Glider is now on  it's mission,  along with several other gliders.  The Wave Glider differs from the others in that it remains on the surface collecting weather data.  The other gliders dive and surface,  collecting data on the way.

A light-mantled sooty albatross.  There have been a number of these beautiful birds flying around us today and as the afternoon progressed the sky slowly cleared and as I sit writing this evening there is not a cloud in the sky.  It has turned out to be a beautiful end to the day.

Friday 1st December is Antarctica Day.  Check out my Twitter feed on Friday for a special Tweet.  The British Antarctic Survey has teamed up with a large number of schools and arranged phone calls from Antarctica throughout the week.  The JCR has been taking part with the first call from the ship to a school in London this morning and on Friday I think we have three further calls,  followed by more next week.  I feel it is important to try and inspire children to get interested,  not only in Antarctica,  but in science and our planet as a whole.  Whilst science is not for everyone,  one does not need to be a scientist to work in Antarctica.  There are more support staff keeping the ships and bases running than scientists normally and occupations range from ship's captains to base mechanics and cooks.

Please do check out the latest from the scientists in their blog as I think that they have uploaded some video of them at work,  hopefully it can be found HERE

Noon Position Report Thursday 30th November 2017 

Latitude: 61 36.24 S
Longitude: 064 40.73 W
Bearing: 349 T, 162 Nm from Anvers Island
Cruise Number: JR17001
Distance Travelled: 110
Total Distance Travelled: 1079.9
Steam Time: 13.6
Total Steam Time: 98.5
Average Speed: 8.1
Total Average Speed: 11.0
Wind: Direction NW, Force 5
Sea State: Rough
Air Temp: 1.1 C Sea Temp: 0.3 C
Pressure: 991.5 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