Last updated: Thursday 9th  November 2017   

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The RRS James Clark Ross arrived off of Bird Island at 06:00,  unless you live on Bird Island where the time was 09:00,  dropped anchor and prepared to make a start on the main relief of the base.  Bird Island is the smallest BAS base and is about to undergo some major building work.  This will involve an influx of personnel later in the season and the JCR has been bringing,  amongst other things,  extra provisions.  There seemed to be an awful lot of crisps going ashore today!

This is a picture of Bird Island just after our arrival in Bird Sound.  As you can see it is a beautiful day (for Bird Island at least) with the cloud halfway down to sea level.  One of the problems that we face with working here is the swell conditions.  Whilst in the picture it might look calm,  when in the cargo tender it can be a very different tale.

Looking up through Bird Sound one can see Bird Island on the left and South Georgia on the right.  There is very little distance between the two islands,  but it has been sufficient to keep rodents from the larger South Georgia off of Bird Island.

The cargo tender alongside the jetty at Bird Island, discharging cargo.  Once the cargo has been put on the jetty then it is human power and effort that will move it to it's correct location.  There is no mechanical assistance on the island just now,  although that might change come tomorrow as a large vehicle is to be dropped off as part of the building programme.  The end of the jetty can just be seen,  this used to be the location of the base toilet,  which had a Perspex dome fitted in the 90's (a gift from Halley if memory servers me correctly) and I gather was thought of as a favourite loo for Sir David Attenborough.  One did have to be careful when using it at high tide though as the water level was high enough for close encounters with seals.

A small selection of the cargo to be sent ashore.  Whilst the cargo tender was away delivering a load of cargo to the base,  the next load would be lifted from the hold and placed on the Upper Deck to await the return of the tender,  which would then be loaded again and sent on it's way.

The Science Hold,  which was full of cargo for Signy and Bird Island is now empty.  For those who missed the early picture of the Science Hold,  it can be viewed   HERE.

The cargo tender returning to the JCR accompanied by one of the Humber inflatable boats.  Another problem that is seen only at Bird Island is kelp.  There is a lot of it both in Jordan Cove (where the base is located) and on the way in to the base.  This can cause problems for the water jet system on the tender and also for the propeller on the Humber.

When I first came to Bird Island in 1990 and for many years after,  all the fuel was delivered in 205ltr drums,  which once ashore had to be rolled to the back of the base,  which involved an incline and was hard work.  A few years ago large fuel tanks were fitted and a bulk fuelling system is now used so far fewer drums are required and most of the ones going ashore this time are for the building work.

Sheathbills.  Locally these birds have another name which I am unable to use on this page.  These birds are not the least bit fussy as to what they will try and eat!  I have been trying throughout the day to get some other wildlife pictures but this was the best that I could manage.  Hopefully tomorrow will be a brighter day and the local wildlife will come out to play.

Something completely different to finish off with.  In the machinery spaces,  which are noisy,  all the alarms have a visual indicator so that if you can't hear an alarm this simple device will clearly indicate what alarm is active.

Friday will be another early start and if the weather is kind then the relief should continue to progress well.

Noon Position Report Thursday 9th November 2017 

Latitude: 53 09.9 S
Longitude: 038 05.9 W
Bearing: 184 T, 1 Nm from Bird Island
Course Made Good 030 T
Distance Travelled: 159
Total Distance Travelled: 660.8
Steam Time: 16.5
Total Steam Time: 58.3
Average Speed: 9.6
Total Average Speed: 11.3
Wind: Direction SSW, Force 5
Sea State: Moderate
Air Temp: 0.6 C Sea Temp: 2.1 C
Pressure: 1012.5 Tendency (3 hrs): Rising

 

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