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Following a very busy day preparing for our departure from alongside the National Oceanography Centre the James Clark Ross let go all her lines and slowly eased off the berth in Empress Dock,  Southampton.  Surprisingly just minutes before our departure two ships decided to arrive and park,  thus reducing the limited space that we needed to make a turn through 180 degrees in order to head out through the cutting.

Moving off from the berth and the National Oceanography Centre this afternoon.  There was a good turn-out of staff to wave us on our way,  who then had a bit of a fright when I tested the whistle.

Lining up for the cutting that will lead us out into the Solent,  with the BBC Lagos on the left (that is the port side for all the landlubbers reading this update).

Heading out into the Solent.  Being a Friday afternoon the Solent is full of yachts and there is an Isle of Wight ferry also heading out into the Solent.

Driving the ship out of a port is a team effort.  On the Bridge Captain Page is in charge (closest in picture),  with advice given by the local Pilot and assisted by Matt,  the Third Officer,  is in the background keeping notes of all that is going on.  Elsewhere the Engineers are in the Control Room ready to respond to any problem that may arise,  the Deck department are out on deck handling the ropes and preparing for the Pilot to depart the vessel via the Pilot ladder.  The Catering Department are busy preparing dinner for all on board.

Looking behind with Southampton disappearing behind us as we progress down the Solent.

The ropes used for mooring the JCR whilst in Southampton being stowed away.  There is a dedicated rope store on the port side of the Forecastle and the ropes that don't remain on the mooring winches are lowered down into the store.

With a Pilot on board it is required that we fly the appropriate flag.  This tells all other vessels that the ship is under pilotage.   Different ports have different rules as to the requirement for carrying a Pilot.  For example the JCR can enter and leave Stanley Harbour without,  but should we decide to visit Mare Harbour in the Falklands then a Pilot would be required and one is required for Southampton waters.

Some of the science team,  and Richard the Purser,  on the Monkey Island this evening as the ship departed Southampton.  As with most science cruises this will be the first time some have spent time at sea,  other than perhaps a ferry journey,  whilst others have a lot of seatime to their credit.

All being well the JCR will be passing Dover on Saturday morning,  between 0600 and 0800 before rounding the coast of East Anglia and then proceeding towards Tromso,  where the next batch of scientists will be collected.  From there it will north to the Arctic and some very exciting science work.

The Dartcom satellite image is back,  I had to switch the equipment off whilst carrying out some work,  but all is back on once again and as we head north we will be looking at this to try and determine where the ice edge is located.  In addition the Navmet screen is also operational again.

Previous updates from this trip

Noon Position Report  

All fast,  Empress Dock,  Southampton.      


Mike Gloistein
gm0hcq @ gm0hcq.com