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The RRS James Clark Ross is now on passage to Southampton,  due to arrive on the morning of the 15th August.

Wednesday started out calm and misty,  with barely any wind and with the ship sailing at 09:00 the waters around Tromso were calm with hardly any current to be seen.  Ideal for a departing ship.

A number of the science party disembarked shortly before departure and they will be flying back to the UK from Tromso airport,  which is on the other side of the island.  The island is connected to the mainland by two bridges,  one is located near to the centre of town and whilst the JCR might just have passed beneath,  the calculations said that it would be tight and the decision was made to take the longer route around the northern end of the island,  passing beneath the other,  higher,  bridge.

With the Pilot embarked,  the lines were let go and shortly after 09:00 the JCR eased off Pier 22 into the channel,  turned through 180 and headed out the way we came in,  but at the top end of the island went to the left and then down the west side.

On our passage to Tromso this bridge could be seen but today,  with the fog,  it was not until the ship was much closer that it  appeared.  I knew that we would be passing the airport but did not appreciate that the runway was going to be on the foreshore,  and as we sailed past two aircraft loomed out of the mist to land.  The Pilot kindly pointed out his home,  which was on the other side of the ship.

The Bridge looks very narrow but has two lanes of traffic crossing.  Vessels approaching from the south have right of way as the water on the south side is restricted.

The Main Mast cleared the bottom of the bridge with enough to spare and not increase anyone's heart rate. 

Dotted along the coast were these lovely navigation lights.  If you look on the hill you may just see  a tall pole with a fixed flag.  As we passed I noticed that whoever had put this post up had also acquired a bridge from a ship (wooden) and installed it on the hillside.

It was about here that I lost my satellite signal for a short period,  with an elevation of about 5 the mountain was in the way.

Lots of small settlements were to be seen,  some of the houses are for holiday use,  but many are lived in throughout the year as it is cheaper to live away from Tromso (where house prices are similar to London prices).

The view behind at one point this morning.  The Pilotage was about four hours,  with the Pilot disembarking at about 13:00

Although it was dull,  misty,  foggy and sometimes a bit of rain,  the views were constantly spectacular.  At one point I spotted a small canoe being paddled across one of the wider stretches of water,  as three ships converged on the paddler.

  Norway!  Final picture for today.  Sadly I missed the group of killer whales that the ship passed this afternoon but am always hopeful that something interesting will appear in time for the next update.

The scientists on board are busy with packing up and getting all the data collected to be taken away when the ship arrives.  There is normally a lot of paperwork that needs to be completed prior to arrival in a port,  with all equipment having to be listed.

The forecast is for the weather to change on Friday and we are anticipating a bit of blow.  Since joining the ship in Montevideo we have not had a proper lumpy sea and it would have been nice to complete the period on board like that.  Fingers are crossed that the weather will improve before the weekend.

Previous updates from this trip

Noon Position Report  

Latitude: 69 31.73 N
Longitude: 018 01.25 E
Bearing: 245 T, 22 Nm from Tromso
Course Made Good VAR T
Destination : Southampton
ETA 08:00 on 15 August 2017
Wind: Direction variable, Force 1
Sea State: Slight
Air Temp: 9 C Sea Temp: 9.9 C
Pressure: 1019.9 Tendency (3 hrs): Rising



Mike Gloistein
gm0hcq @ gm0hcq.com