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The James Clark Ross is now outside the limits of the normal communications satellite.  I may,  from time to time,  be able to update this page with the Daily Position Report,  below.  There will be no menu or photographs until the ship is back inside the satellite footprint.  I also hope that the ship's track will continue to work. More information on this can be found HERE

The JCR proceeded slowly north overnight, working through the Arctic pack-ice,  which at times was consolidated but at others clear leads were visible that we could take advantage of.  During smoko this afternoon 80N was crossed,  which puts the James Clark Ross less then 600nm from the North Pole. 

Smoko this morning also proved to be exciting,  with Richard (the Best Looking Purser in the Fleet) spotting a polar bear.  An announcement was made and within minutes most people on board were either out on deck or on the Bridge to enjoy the sight.  At one point I saw a seal break the surface of the very still sea and the bear immediately ran in that direction,  but with the seal in the water I think that there was ever any chance of the bear getting a meal.

Today's polar bear.

With little wind the sea was beautifully calm and perfect for good reflections.

When the ship is working through heavy pack ice it is a bit like being on an old bus that is being driven down a road full of potholes.  The ship shudders a lot and there is a sound that accompanies this too.  The motion is very different to that when the ship is rolling in a heavy sea,  but if  a hard piece of ice is hit it is very noticeable.  With virtually no wind today the sea has been providing some wonderful reflections,  although this morning did not start of well with a heavy fog that one could only see perhaps two or three ship's lengths ahead.

I spent some time watching the seagulls that are with us just now.  As the JCR has been working through the pack it turns over the ice,  in itself a spectacular sight to see several tonnes of ice lifting up out of the water,  and this seems to bring small fish to the surface,  which the gulls then catch easily.  One fist was seen to be thrown on to the middle of a floe,  becoming a very easy target for the gulls.  I also saw an interesting aerial combat between a pomarine skua and a seagull.  The skua was chasing the gull,  I am guessing for the fish it had just caught but not eaten (they land on the ice to eat the fish) and once it had dropped the fish and the skua was trying to have a meal the tables were reversed and the gull started to chase the skua.

More reflections from this morning. 

We have now reached the next science station and the Deck Officers are working hard trying to keep an area of water clear of ice so that the various instruments can be deployed over the side.  As I mentioned the other day,  whilst we may be stopped in position,  everything around us is very much on the move.

Previous updates from this trip  The archive only goes to 13th July.  Once back in range of comms I will update any days that have interesting data.

Noon Position Report

Latitude: 79 46 N
Longitude: 30 01 E
Bearing: 60 T, 190 Nm from Longyearbyen
Cruise Number: JR16006
Distance Travelled: 109
Total Distance Travelled: 1448
Steam Time: 23.2
Total Steam Time: 160.5
Average Speed: 4.6
Total Average Speed: 8.9
Wind: Direction NE, Force 3
Sea State: Calm
Air Temp: 0.8 C Sea Temp: -0.1 C
Pressure: 1010.9 Tendency (3hrs): Rising


Mike Gloistein
gm0hcq @ gm0hcq.com