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Another lovely day for the James Clark Ross as the passage to Recife continues.    This morning when I popped onto the Bridge before breakfast there were  a number of boobies (gannets) diving for fish.  They seem to have deserted us during the course of the day.  On the subject of fish,  there have been lots of flying fish,  breaking the surface where the bow breaks.  Very tricky to get a good photo of but I will keep trying.

The water depth is up and down once again and this morning it was over 3,700m.  However this area is surrounded by seamounts as can be seen from this screen image of the chart,  it can go from thousands of metres to as little as 23m on the Hotspur Seamount.  Planning a route for a deep draught vessel is very important as putting the route across one of these would not be a good course to take.  This chart,  from our electronic chart system,  is linked to both the radar and the Automatic Information System and it shows two other ships,  with an indication of their course and speed.  By clicking on the ship it is possible to display the full information on the ship,  including its length,  destination and what sort of ship it is.  As I write this a 405m pipe-layer is in the process of slowly overtaking us,  but sadly as it is pitch black outside and it is a few miles away,  it is not as impressive as I think it would be in daylight.

Rob,  Third Officer,  out on deck testing the fire hoses.  We have a lot of fire hoses distributed all around the ship and they are all tested on a regular basis,  as part of the ship's planned maintenance system.  This system is a computer based system that generates the work that needs to be carried out each month and keeps a record of the work that has been done.  Today is an ideal day to be playing with hoses.

Also out on deck,  but well away from hoses,  is Steve the ship's Electrical Officer.  He is working on the Stern Gantry to ensure that it is fully operational as it is a major component for much of the science that is carried out from on board the James Clark Ross.

For those of you who have not been following the travels of the ship,  the following is a little about what we do:

When the RRS James Clark Ross was built,  back in 1990,  it was not designed for a specific purpose.  It does have a number of fixed systems,  for example the swath bathymetry and the air compressors for seismic work.  The great thing about the ship is the ability to interface to almost anything a scientist might bring along to carry out their research.

To start off with we will offer comfortable accommodation and three very good meals a day (if they are well behaved).  Then there is computing and communication facilities,  to allow them to keep in touch with loved ones and get access to data and information that they forgot to bring with them.  The scientists will bring specialist equipment for the research work.  Some of it is standard but much of it is one off and if it has been on before there is a good chance that it will have evolved since it was last on board.  We provide laboratory space for the equipment to be installed,  if it is for analysing or similar,  and deck space for the big stuff that will be deployed over the side of the ship.  It is possible to interface in many ways.  We can provide,  for example,  hot and cold fresh water,  sea surface water,  hydraulics (high or low pressure,  high or low flow),  electricity in various Voltages and Currents,  and some very long cables to dangle things in the water.

If a sample is required from 10m or 6,000m we are able to accommodate,  the latter will just take a little bit longer to deploy and recover.  Finally we will take them to where they wish to go and then bring them to a port,  safe and sound,  so that they can head home with a lot of exciting data to work with.  A science cruise is typically six or seven weeks and by the end it is one big family on the James Clark Ross.

Navmet screenshot

The Daily menu

Noon Position Report

Latitude: 17 20 S
Longitude: 36 30 W
Bearing: 50 T, 533 Nm from Rio de Janeiro
Course Made Good 037 T
Destination 1: Recife
 ETA at 11.0 knots is 17:23 on 20 May 2017
 Destination 2: Recife
 ETA at 8.6 knots is 08:00 on 21 May 2017
Distance Travelled: 234
Total Distance Travelled: 1541
Steam Time: 24
Total Steam Time: 138.8
Average Speed: 11.1
Total Average Speed: 11.1
Wind: Direction SSE, Force 4
Sea State: Slight
Air Temp: 28.1 C Sea Temp: 27.4 C
Pressure: 1013.7 Tendency (3 hrs): Falling


Previous updates from this trip

Mike Gloistein
gm0hcq @ gm0hcq.com