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The James Clark Ross continues to make good progress to the north and I have to say it was good that we had the Crossing the Line ceremony yesterday as today we have been subject to some heavy tropical rain showers.  This is likely due to the effects of the ITCZ - Inter Tropical Convergence Zone,  which is described in The Mariner's Handbook as follows:

The broad belt of shallow low pressure and weak pressure gradients towards which the trade wind air streams of the N and S hemispheres flow is called the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) or doldrums.  The ITCZ moves N and S seasonally and in some regions, particularly in the vicinity of large land masses, its seasonal migration takes it well outside equatorial latitudes. Within the ITCZ, the areas where the winds from the two hemispheres converge are marked by lines or zones of massive cumulonimbus cloud and associated torrential rain,  thunderstorms and squalls.  Although  a convergence zone may have some characteristics of a middle latitude cold front, there  is normally little or no air mass contrast across the boundary nor is there any consistent  frontal movement.  A convergence zone is liable to disperse  in one area and be replaced by a new development some distance away.

Another image from the past.  This is Crossing the Line on the barque Mount Stewart from around 1920 and posted on Twitter by the Scottish Maritime Museum,  which is an excellent place to visit if you happen to be in Aberdeen.  It does show that very little has changed over the many years that these ceremonies have been taking place.  I am very impressed with the policemen,  excellent outfits.

For those on the JCR who managed to survive the day it was time to issue certificates.    In fact there were so many I could not get them all on the desk and I was delighted to hear that all involved had enjoyed the event.

Regardless of what the ship is doing,  on passage for a port as we are now,  on a science cruise as is our normal mode,  or even alongside a port or base,  maintenance work is always being carried out.  This can vary greatly,  aside from the tropical downpours the Deck Department is busy painting,  the Engineers are keeping all the  machinery in good order and the catering department is keeping us all well fed.

First thing this morning I spotted on the Science Hatch,  which is on the Aft end of the ship,  the tools of maintenance used by the Deck Department,  laid out and ready for use. 

In the Main Alternator Room the covers were off of one of the 3.1MW engines,  although apologies for it being blurred which is entirely my fault!

The science team on board are determined to keep us entertained and tonight and tomorrow will be giving further talks with regards to the work that they are carrying out, whether that be on the ship,  ashore at Ascension or even as far south as Rothera.

Previous updates from this trip

Noon Position Report

Latitude: 5 56 N
Longitude: 19 59 W
Bearing: 338 T, 607 Nm from Ascension Island
Cruise Number: JR16-NG
Distance Travelled: 312
Total Distance Travelled: 919
Steam Time: 24
Total Steam Time: 66.9
Average Speed: 13
Total Average Speed: 13.7
Wind: Direction SE, Force 4
Sea State: Moderate
Air Temp: 27.6 C Sea Temp: 29.4 C
Pressure: 1011.4 Tendency (3hrs): Falling


Previous updates from this trip

Mike Gloistein
gm0hcq @ gm0hcq.com