Last updated: Friday 3rd  November 2017   

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Before I report on the events of today,  I have a small favour to ask the readers of the JCR Update Page,  one that will cost the price of a stamp.  Via Twitter,  yesterday,  I offered to send ten postcards from Antarctica.  This has proved popular in the past and so too for Signy cards.  One request that I received I felt I could not refuse,  which was to send a card to a children's hospice in Alexandria, Scotland.  It seems that they are collecting postcards and it is very beneficial to the children that are there.  So,  please,  if you can,  send a postcard to them at:  The Children,   Children's Hospice,  CHAS, Balloch, Alexandria, G83 8LX  From far or near will be very much appreciated. I will be sending from the three bases that I visit this trip. Thank-you.

It is starting to get chilly down here!  The thermal fluid heading will be going on to keep all on board warm and this morning we were informed that expected wind chill temperature for Signy on Saturday will be in the region of -30C.  Best get my thermals out then!

The James Clark Ross has been making steady progress towards the South Orkney Islands.  For those of you who have been trying to track our passage using the link on this site,  it appears to be down and has been for a few weeks now.  As it is a third party site I have no control over it and am unsure as to the problem,  it may be that the site has now closed.  If this is the case that it is very sad for us,  as it was an excellent means of seeing just where we where.

  This morning everyone assembled in the Officer/Scientists Bar for a bio-security talk and a Signy Island relief talk.  The ship takes bio-security very seriously.  Many countries now take measures to protect their lands from invasion of foreign species,  Antarctica is no different.  For the base relief talk a number of situations were discussed as we won't actually know how the relief will be carried out until we have arrived.  Signy never seems to be the same any two years running and it could be that we can gain access to Factory Cove and that there is no build up of snow around the base.  On the other hand the bay could be blocked by ice and there could be a lot of snow.  Lots of snow will mean a lot of digging for the first group ashore.  Once access has been made to the front door and the building has been entered,  the lights can't be turned on because there will be no power.  The generators have been silent for over six months in very cold conditions,  and so they will need to be warmed up slowly before they can be run.  There will be no running water and the toilets will not flush!  However, the team going ashore are well practiced in getting the base up and running and it is hoped,  if we arrive in good time,  that they will be spending Saturday night ashore.

With regards to our arrival time,  this too is not fixed.  At present the James Clark Ross is in open water,  although we did pass a very large iceberg this afternoon (too far away to see but sighted on satellite imagery) and as the ship approaches the South Sandwich Islands,  in particular the Inaccessible Islands it is likely that there will be a large number of grounded bergs along with associated growlers and bergy bits. It is the two latter ice products that will require the ship to slow down and carefully navigate a way to Signy.  I will let you know tomorrow how it goes.

Due to work commitments I have not been out and about too much today with my camera and the best I can come up with is this view looking forward late this afternoon.  The passage today has been comfortable and the sun has been seen a few times.  The birds are still following us although I think that the albatross have now left us.  There was a pod of dolphins sighted this afternoon,  but they did not stay with us for very long.

Noon Position Report Friday 3rd November 2017 

Latitude: 57 56.64 S
Longitude: 049 58.13 W
Bearing: 321 T, 213 Nm from Signy
Course Made Good 143 T
Destination : Signy
ETA at 11.5 knots is 08:00 on 04 November 2017
Destination : Signy
ETA at 10 knots is 10:56 on 04 November 2017
Distance Travelled: 276
Total Distance Travelled: 466.6
Steam Time: 24
Total Steam Time: 40
Average Speed: 11.5
Total Average Speed: 11.7
Wind: Direction WSW, Force 4
Sea State: Moderate
Air Temp: 0.5 C Sea Temp: 0.9 C
Pressure: 979.4 Tendency (3 hrs): Steady

 

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