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Sunday has been a glorious day out in the middle of the North Sea.  The wind has been steadily picking up and the sea,  whilst still shallow,  has been getting a little bit lumpy,  with some white caps and spray forming on the top of the waves.  The James Clark Ross is moving comfortably to these conditions and the sun has been shining throughout.

On the radio front I have now published the Grid Squares that we will hopefully be passing through.  Of interest to those who collect these is KQ & KR.  I will do my best to be as active as time allows whilst in these areas.  Sadly I won't be able to post any DX spots due to a lack of comms at the time.

The ship advanced clocks overnight and is now working on GMT +2.  We will remain on this time zone until we are heading back to Southampton in August.

Being in the North Sea just now we keep coming across platforms,  although giving them a very wide berth!  Yesterday I spotted a 103m tower (the chart confirmed the height) which looking like a needle sticking up out of the sea,  all alone,  which I understand is used as a central communications point.

It being a Sunday I decided to have a wander around the ship,  with my camera in hand,  to snap a few pictures for the update this evening.  First stop was the Underway Instrumentation Control Room and this bank of monitors and instruments,  which allow the team of scientists to have a full understanding of what is happening on board.

Stepping out of the Underway Instrumentation Control Room and this is the view presented.  Looking aft through the Aft Gantry and the wonderful sky and sea.  On the wildlife front we have lost the seagulls that were with us yesterday and have had a few boobies following us today.  I spotted a lone puffin,  flapping frantically to make headway,  this afternoon.

Nitrogen forms a large part of the air that we breath,  which is proving very handy for when we want some liquid Nitrogen to fast freeze samples before storing in our -80C freezers.  This machine makes the liquid Nitrogen for us and will keep us topped up during the cruise.

This is a glider,  a cousin if you wish to Boaty McBoatface.  The plan is to deploy this at one of the science stations and then return two weeks or so later and collect it,  along with all the data that it has obtained. 

Some of the packages of sensors that are deployed,  whether on a glider or a frame that is lowered over the side of the ship,  require a power source and this is one such source.  This particular power supply is made up of lead acid batteries,  which after charging will be within a sealed metal canister. The size of the battery pack will vary with the different instruments deployed.

More instrumentation on the workbench.  The only fact I can pass on is that the one on the left is called Holly!  Notice that everything is very well tied in place, to avoid any damage as the ship rocks and rolls in the North Sea.  The golden rule is that if it is not being used it should be stowed away or tied down.

The labs on board have been filled with equipment.  This is a picture taken in the Chemistry Lab and once we start collecting water samples it will be a busy place.  Having the ability to sample in real time in a lab on the ship is a real bonus for the scientists.

A brief pause as I mention that the curtains in my cabin have just started to lift off of the window frame,  which can only mean that we have just enjoyed a couple of nice rolls.  In addition we have also been pitching a little.  Hopefully this will not make showering before dinner too much of an ordeal!

My favourite instrument.  This is the Autosal and it measures how salty the water is.  As we may be collecting samples from very different depths ranging from 10m to possibly thousands of Metres,  it is no surprise that the salinity could vary.

A beautiful day at sea!  Shame about the corkscrew motion that has just started.....one hopes everyone has found their sea legs.

The Monkey Island this afternoon with some of my HF receiving antennas bending in the wind.

Previous updates from this trip

Noon Position Report  

Latitude: 55 36 N
Longitude: 003 45 E
Bearing: 198 T, 202 Nm from Stavanger
Course Made Good 326 T
Destination: Tromso
ETA at 10 knots is 15:55 on 06 July 2017
Distance Travelled: 239
Total Distance Travelled: 434
Steam Time: 24
Total Steam Time: 42
Average Speed: 10
Total Average Speed: 10.3
Wind: Direction ENE, Force 5
Sea State: Moderate
Air Temp: 14.8 C Sea Temp: 14.5 C
Pressure: 1013.6 Tendency (3 hrs): Rising


Mike Gloistein
gm0hcq @ gm0hcq.com