A very Happy Mid-winter to you all. Today is a special day for all those living on the Antarctic Continent as it heralds the longest night and the sun will soon be returning, so some it will start as a glow on the horizon before eventually growing higher and higher in the sky until in six months there will be twenty-four hours of daylight.
Having spent last night to the south of the Isle of Wight the James Clark Ross then headed to the Pilot Station to pick up the Pilot at 06:15 with a view to getting to the entrance to Empress Dock, Southampton, for the slack water period, when the tide has reached it's peak and is about to turn. This gives some still water and makes parking a ship like the JCR much easier.
Cowes, on the Isle of Wight as seen this morning when we passed. The conditions were perfect with a very calm Solent and little wind.
Making the approach to Empress Dock. This is hidden behind the large car carrier. There are an awful lot of new cars parked here in this dock area and they seem to be constantly on the move.
Shortly after the James Clark Ross was all fast alongside the berth at Empress Dock, and a nice cup of tea was had, the discharge of the containers on board started.
There are some very interesting bits of equipment to be found in the yard here at the National Oceanography Centre. This is an ODAS Buoy, which is a very large mooring that is used to collect weather data from way out in the ocean. In the years gone by the Met Office had dedicated Met ships that would sit in such delightful places as near Rockall, which I can assure you is not a fun place to hang around too long. These ODAS units can be monitored remotely and provide a wealth of data to the scientists and Met Office. They are deployed by many nations.
As it was a nice sunny morning I decided to nip up the Main Mast to change a lamp and took this snap of the N.O.C.
The James Clark Ross all fast alongside at Empress Dock. It has been a glorious day and the delights of Southampton are but a short walk away. I managed to find an interesting museum, which sadly was about to close, and will return to visit the Titanic Exhibition at some point during out stay.
Thursday and Friday will be busy discharging all the Antarctic cargo and then on Monday the ship will make a start on mobilising for the Arctic cruise.
I am unsure how often this page will be updated during our stay as I will be busy with visitors and guests in the evenings.
All being well the James Clark Ross will sail for the Arctic on the afternoon of the 30th of June.
Previous updates from this trip
Noon Position Report
All fast, Empress Dock, Southampton.
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