Last updated: Friday 6th April 2018  Time Zone:  GMT  

The Royal Research Ship James Clark Ross has arrived at St Helena,  enjoying favourable weather conditions that would be perfect for the passenger transfers that were due to take place this morning.  Five departed the ship for shore and six came out to join us for the week that we will be working in this area.

St Helena appearing ahead of the JCR as the sun rose this morning. 

Jamestown is the capital of the island,  but many of the islanders live up on the hill.  There is a staircase from Jamestown up the hill,  which I hope to struggle up next week when we will stop for the day off the port.

Flags play an important roll on ships and whilst in St Helena waters the JCR will be flying the flag of St Helena along with the flag of the Falkland Islands,  where the ship is registered.

With the team from ashore embarked the JCR headed off to the southern end of the island to carry out some swath bathymetry work and Sperry Island was looking rather splendid in the sunshine.

Wildlife has been good,  both in the air and the water.  This is a juvenile masked booby,  a group of them joined us for a while this afternoon.  This morning I was lucky to see a devil ray (looked very much like a manta ray).  Sadly my pictures were not very good.

Around the other side of the island to Jamestown there was a lot of cloud to be seen,  giving some interesting views for all on board.

If you look at the top part of the island you will see some infrastructure.  This is the new airport and runway on St Helena.  Saturday is the day for the weekly flight from South Africa.  I am not sure if we will be in the vicinity when it arrives and departs.  The airport was built in 2016 and has changed the way of reaching the island.  Before the airport was built the island relied on the RMS St Helena to get on and off the island,  which took time to travel from either Cape Town or the UK.  The RMS St Helena has now retired.  The island still relies on shipping to get stores and equipment to the island.

I was very excited to see this.  Whilst there is not a lot to be seen other than the fin,  if you look closely in the water you may see a shadow,  which is the body of the whale shark.  This is the largest fish in the world,  measuring up to 40ft in length and weighing up to 11 tons.  I was not the only excited person to see this. I am told that these sharks are often seen in these waters and the science team on board will be keeping a good lookout and the record further sightings.

A close-up of the island with cloud flowing over the top.

I would just like to say that whilst writing this update I am also listening to BBC Radio 2 who are broadcasting a special  Friday Night is Music Night to celebrate one hundred years of the Royal Air Force,  and if you are in the UK and did not listen to it live,  then I recommend doing so on the iPlayer catch-up service.

The final image for today is of a rocky outcrop on St Helena.  Much of the work that we will be carrying out is going to be with the island in sight,  so I hope to get a few more island views.

Noon Position Report Friday 6th April 2018

Latitude: 15 53.5 S
Longitude: 005 44.2 W
Bearing: 321 T, 2 Nm from Jamestown, St Helena
Cruise Number: name
Distance Travelled: 178
Total Distance Travelled: 1376
Steam Time: 17.8
Total Steam Time: 132.4
Average Speed: 10.0
Total Average Speed: 10.4
Wind: Direction E, Force 4
Sea State: Slight
Air Temp: 24.7 C Sea Temp: 25.3 C
Pressure: 1011.7 Tendency (3hrs): Steady

Mike Gloistein
gm0hcq @ gm0hcq.com