Jeremy, Monday 6 October 2008
We’re off. After several weeks of increasingly hectic shopping, and other preparations, we are now sailing down the English Channel (well actually we have stopped off at the Isle of Wight to practice sampling).
The photo below shows our equipment and supplies being winched onto the James Clark Ross. The pile looked very large as it was filling first Martine’s office in the Museum then the car (in fact it only just fitted) but it looked minute on the quay next to the ship, and insignificant next to everything else being loaded onboard.
The main reason the James Clark Ross goes south each year is to resupply the British Antarctic Survey bases and the ship is carrying tonnes of equipment and supplies for the scientists in the Antarctic. Mostly it is in crates but there is some pretty cool stuff on deck. In addition there is the party of eighteen scientists, including ourselves, for the slow cruise down to the Falkland Islands studying ocean life and processes as we go and they have a lot more equipment.
Once our little pile of gear had been put on the ship, we then had a day and a bit to unpack, set-up, and fix everything down securely – lots of drilling, screwing, and strapping. We also of course had to nip out and buy a whole lot more stuff, but we are now safely isolated from all shops so Martine will have to make do with whatever we have got.
Actually the shopping trip was curtailed by the need to get back for the safety lecture where we learnt what to do when the ship sinks (unlike the Titanic there are as many lifeboat places as people on board). Then on Friday, after one more lifeboat drill, we sailed out of Immingham docks (just next to Grimsby) and down through a surprisingly lively North Sea.
Jeremy, The English Channel
Posted in Equipment