Last updated: Sunday 5th  November 2017   

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 The update today is going to start with more about our arrival at Signy on Saturday due to the late finish on Saturday evening and not having access to some pictures from ashore.

The James Clark Ross at anchor in Borge Bay on Saturday.  Overnight the ship moved out into more open water and returned to almost the same spot at 06:00 this morning.  Captain Page tells me that we have parked some 20m out from yesterday.  Picture  Pete Bucktrout/BAS

There is only one way to reach the base and that is via boat.  In this instance it is the Humber inflatable that is loading pax for the short run ashore,  with the majority of the pax travelling in the cargo tender.  Picture Pete Bucktrout/BAS

The cargo tender approaching the jetty in Factory Cove to land more passengers.  Very limited cargo was sent ashore on Saturday due to amount of work required before it could be landed.  Picture Pete Bucktrout/BAS

This is the route the cargo will take.  It gives a good idea of how much work was required to dig out the route.  The top layer of several feet was compacted snow and not too difficult,  but the lower layer of ice proved to be hard work.  Picture Pete Bucktrout/BAS

It was several hours before there was an electrical supply and some helpful equipment could be used.  Before that it was all FID power,  ie muscle power!  Picture Pete Bucktrout/BAS

Bio-security is very important at Signy and all going ashore will have had their clothes cleaned to ensure that no seeds are brought ashore and have to use a bootwash  both ashore and on the ship.  Picture Pete Bucktrout/BAS

One of the first tasks of opening the base is to remove the shutters that protect the windows during the harsh winter months.  This also means that if the electricity is not yet on it is possible to make a start within the building in getting things ready for occupation. Picture Pete Bucktrout/BAS

Looking over the base at Signy.  The large building is the main base with the generator shed just behind it.  The large building in front of the satellite dome is the fuel tank and then the building on the right is the food store and workshop. Picture Pete Bucktrout/BAS

Moving on to Sunday and it has been another busy day with a lot of the FIDS going ashore to assist with the cargo handling ashore (it will all be moved by hand as there are no vehicles ashore to do this work).  This left the ship's company to do the job of getting the cargo from the ship to the cargo tender and then ashore.

  Cargo in the Scientific Hold is put either onto pallets or into cargo nets and then lifted from the ship into the cargo tender.  All the cargo is numbered and an important task is to tally items off as they leave the ship.  As cargo arrives it will tallied again and hopefully both sets of figures will be the same.

  The cargo tender filling up with cargo this morning.  As was the case yesterday meals were sent ashore for those working there.  I understand that nearly all the services at the base are up and running,  which is a good stage to be in at this time of the relief.

One of the  issues that has been of concern since our arrival has been the southerly winds,  which have steadily been pushing the pack ice north and in towards Signy.  This is the view this afternoon and if compared with early pictures from our arrival it can clearly be seen that it is catching us up.  As we are not sure just how far it will come it was important to get all the cargo ashore today,  just in case we are unable to run the cargo tender on Monday.

Looking across towards Coronation Island this afternoon.

Signy Island with some blue sky and sunshine.  Whilst it did brighten up there was still a stiff breeze blowing and it was very cold outside.

Coronation Island through the crane. 

As I finish this update the cargo tender and inflatable boats are back on board and the Captain is moving us out of Borge Bay and moving slowly through the pack ice back to our 'parking' spot.  At 05:30 tomorrow the ship will return to Borge Bay and assess the situation with regards to getting to the base.

Noon Position Report Sunday 5th November 2017 

Latitude: 60 42.07 S
Longitude: 045 34.80 W
Bearing: 45 T, 1 Nm from Signy

 

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