Last updated: Friday 10th  November 2017   

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At the end of the first day of the Bird Island base relief on Thursday the Captain took the ship around to the north side of the island (and South Georgia) to spend the night off Elesehul (which is the site of an old sealing station).  The main reason for this was a special bit of cargo that needed to be sent ashore and the knowledge that the sea conditions,  barely a mile or so from where we normally park in Bird Sound,  would be much better.

The first shock to the system this morning was that we could not see Bird Island and only catch glimpses of South Georgia as both were shrouded in fog.  In addition the wind was a little stronger than we had expected and so it was a case of sit tight and wait for things to calm down.  The cargo tender was launched and sent into the base and by the time it returned conditions had improved greatly,  although the fog was to remain with us for a large part of the day.

The view,  which was constantly changing,  looking east along the coast of South Georgia towards Elsehul.

South Georgia and some of it's spectacular mountains appearing through the mist this morning.  Taking pictures today has been difficult as nearly every time I looked at either South Georgia or Bird Island the view was different but was also stunningly beautiful.

The cargo tender at the edge of the fog bank this morning.  One thing that the fog did do was to show up the vast number of birds that were flying nearby.

Another view of South Georgia this morning.  The sea was almost perfect for the cargo operation planned for this morning,  thankfully,  as near perfect conditions were required and that is not often seen at Bird Island.

One of the nice things for those travelling on board the James Clark Ross is that we operate an 'open Bridge' policy which means that for those travelling with us they can visit the Bridge and see what is going on.  There are a few exceptions to this,  mainly when the Deck Officers are engaged in operations such as entering or leaving port,  but generally everyone is welcome to pop onto the Bridge and say 'hello' and see what is happening.  The Bridge is a good place to find out what is going on and have things explained, whether that be  to do with navigation or just find out where we are and what the local wildlife is.  Kiran is one of the team involved with the infrastructure upgrades taking place over the next few seasons.  I suspect that her view today was just a little bit better than from her office window in London.

A view looking towards Elsehul this morning.

This is the equipment that near perfect conditions were required to deliver ashore.  Weighing about 14 tonnes it is a big bit of kit to have dangle over the side of a ship and then place gently into the cargo tender.  The lift was carried out perfectly by the Deck team and was soon on it's way to the base.  It will be used for the construction work that will be carried out during the season.

The mountains of South Georgia are,  I think ,  some of the most spectacular that one will find anywhere on the planet and I never tire of admiring them,  especially on a day like today.

Once the cargo tender was loaded and safely in Jordan Cove at the base,  the JCR then headed around the island to once again park in Bird Sound to continue with the base relief.

I took this picture because I liked the folds in the rock.  South Georgia, from where we had spent the morning,  has very steep sides and few places that one could land,  until one entered Elseul a few miles to the east.

Today saw cargo,  in the form of waste,  being taken from the base and brought out to the ship.  This will then be disposed of in a number of ways,  depending on the type of waste.  All the bases and ships of BAS operate a strict waste management system.

Much of my day has been spent on the Monkey Island working on a searchlight and so I have enjoyed both the weather and the views.  In all the years that I have been coming to Bird Island I think that today has been one of the best that I can remember.  Hopefully tomorrow will be similar as I hope to get ashore for a while.......fingers crossed.

Noon Position Report Friday 10th November 2017 

Latitude: 53 09.9 S
Longitude: 038 05.9 W
Bearing: 184 T, 1 Nm from Bird Island

 

Previous updates from the current trip.

Previous updates from my last  trip,  to the Arctic in the summer of 2017

Mike Gloistein
gm0hcq @ gm0hcq.com