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The RRS James Clark Ross is once again back at sea,  following a short port call to Montevideo,  Uruguay. 

This morning started with the departure of the RRS Ernest Shackleton at 08:00.  We had to wait a few extra hours as we had one more person to arrive from the UK.

The Ernest Shackleton departing this morning.  The wind had picked up earlier in the morning but thankfully had then dropped off.  There was not a great deal of room between us and the ships ahead and astern of us.  The Shackleton being shorter did not have such an issue.  The ship is now on passage for Harwich in the UK where they will discharge their Antarctic cargo.

The port of Montevideo is very busy and I think that the two BAS vessels only just managed to squeeze in.  Since I was last here,  which was a good few years ago,  new berths have been constructed.  Many vessels have to berth stern to,  which means that just the stern of the ship is in contact with the berth.  This then means that more ships can fit into the space available.  From time to time the BAS vessels have had to do this,  otherwise it would not have been possible to park.

During the night this interesting car carrier (what seems to be a larger floating version of what we normally see on the motorways of the UK) parked behind us.  She was loading Chinese cars this morning and once loaded will proceed to Paraquay.  The Pilot was telling me that it would be a three day journey and I am guessing that it will be up the river.  When the wind picked up this morning one of their mooring ropes parted!

The port is a very busy place ashore as well and from time to time street vendors will pass by,  selling their produce to the workers servicing the many ships.

With the Pilot embarked Captain Page is at the controls easing the JCR off the berth at 13:30.  With the car transporter some 20m aft and a fishing boat only 40m ahead it was a case of easing out of the berth gently and into the harbour.  The JCR is fitted with thrusters,  one forward and one one aft.  With the wind having dropped to light airs moving sideways was an easy manoeuvre to undertake.

  Departing the port of Montevideo this afternoon with a tug in attendance. 

I suspect that most of these vessels will never put to sea again.  There have always been rusting hulks in the harbour and from time to time they are cleared away.

The Pilot came on board via the gangway (not I hasten to say a gangplank!) but had to leave by boat and here is the Pilot boat following us out of the harbour.

This is our first night at sea for some time and I for one am looking forward to the gentle motion as I fall asleep.  Thankfully the forecast looks good and I don't anticipate having to hang on to stop from sliding down my bunk tonight.  From here we are making for Recife to pick up the science team.  All being well we should be there on the morning of the 21st May.

Previous updates from this trip

Mike Gloistein
gm0hcq @ gm0hcq.com