JCR Arctic Final Update

This is the final update from the James Clark Ross from the JR288 Arctic cruise.

The science is now almost complete and the ship is on passage to Dundee,  from where the scientists and their equipment will be discharged.  From Dundee the ship will then proceed to Denmark for the annual refit,  before heading for Immingham towards the end of September to load the cargo for the 2013/14 Antarctic season.

Aerial view of the James Clark Ross. Pic Norwegian Coastguard

Whilst on passage from the Arctic the ship was overflown by the Norwegian Coastguard and were asked to send some pictures,  which they kindly did.

Aerial view of the James Clark Ross. Pic Norwegian Coastguard

Noon Position Report Thursday 15th August 2013

Latitude: 59° 29.7 N
Longitude: 000° 00.1 W
Bearing: 162 °T, 82 Nm from Muckle Flugga (Shetlands)
Course Made Good 193 °T
(1) Destination 1: Dundee
(1) ETA at 10.0 knots is 09:48 on 16 August 2013
(2) Destination 2: Dundee
(2) ETA at 9.0 knots is 12:14 on 16 August 2013
Distance Travelled: 227
Total Distance Travelled: 1188
Steam Time: 24
Total Steam Time: 119.42
Average Speed: 9.46
Total Average Speed: 9.95
Wind: Direction SE, Force 3
Sea State: Moderate
Air Temp: 15.3 °C Sea Temp: 14.4 °C
Pressure: 1007.7 Tendency (3 hrs): Falling
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JCR Arctic Update 29th July 2013

Monday proved to be an interesting day for us all on the JCR.

Just after mid-day a BAS Twin Otter aircraft did a fly past,  having taken off from Longyearbyen several hours earlier.  This aircraft is carrying a number of scientific sensors and the work is in co

njunction with that taking place on the ship.

The flight had been trying to visit since the Sunday but weather conditions did not allow it to get out to us then.  On Monday it managed to find us just a few miles out of a thick bank of fog and within an hour of their visit the ship was shrouded in the fog.  Perfect timing.

Twin Otter Alpha Zulu today. Pic Mike Gloistein

Three hours later,  whilst enjoy a cup of tea,  the cry ‘polar bear’ was heard.  This was the twelfth one sighted during the JR288 cruise.

Our twelfth polar bear sighting. Pic Mike Gloistein

Noon Position Report Monday, 29 July 2013

Latitude: 77° 26.1 N
Longitude: 005° 10.5 W
Bearing: 260 °T, 266 Nm from Longyearbyen
Cruise Number: JR288
Distance Travelled: 113
Total Distance Travelled: 2645
Steam Time: 9.0
Total Steam Time: 248.54
Average Speed: 12.5
Total Average Speed: 10.64
Wind: Direction SSE, Force 2
Sea State: Calm
Air Temp: 1 °C Sea Temp: 0.5 °C
Pressure: 1012.1 Tendency (3hrs): Steady

Thick fog through much of period.
V/l working through large patches of 4-7/10ths pack ice overnight, with occasional open pools.
Several icebergs encountered along transit

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JCR Arctic Update 28th July 2013

Another busy day of sampling on board the James Clark Ross.

Arctic Ice - Pic Mike Gloistein

Noon Position Report for Sunday 28th July 2013

Latitude: 78° 53.1 N
Longitude: 007° 07.5 W
Bearing: 278 °T, 273 Nm from Longyearbyen
Cruise Number: JR288
Distance Travelled: 79
Total Distance Travelled: 2532
Steam Time: 6.88
Total Steam Time: 239.54
Average Speed: 11.48
Total Average Speed: 10.57
Wind: Direction NW, Force 1
Sea State: Calm
Air Temp: 0.8 °C Sea Temp: 0.3 °C
Pressure: 1010 Tendency (3hrs): Rising
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JCR Arctic Update 27th July 2013

The highlight of the day for Friday was the sighting of a mother polar bear with two cubs on an ice-floe.  Alas weather conditions were poor for good photography but it was enjoyable to watch.

The James Clark Ross has been working on the very limit of the satellite footprint and so it is not possible to post any pictures with today’s update.

Latitude: 77° 57.4 N
Longitude: 007° 06.8 W
Bearing: 266 °T, 281 Nm from Longyearbyen
Cruise Number: JR288
Distance Travelled: 123
Total Distance Travelled: 2453
Steam Time: 13.15
Total Steam Time: 232.66
Average Speed: 9.35
Total Average Speed: 10.54
Wind: Direction S, Force 3
Sea State: Calm
Air Temp: 0.4 °C Sea Temp: 0.2 °C
Pressure: 1003.6 Tendency (3hrs): Steady
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JCR Arctic Update 26th July 2013

Most of Friday was spent amongst pack ice,  which at times made deployment of equipment interesting.

The weather continues to be good,  with light winds and clear skies.

Pack ice - Pic Mike Gloistein

As the James Clark Ross progresses further to the north,  we are seeing more pack ice,  which in turn means that the passage can be a bit bumpy.  Typically the ship is on station throughout the day and then steams overnight to the next science station,  to start work in the morning.  This can mean a bit of a bumpy night for all on board.

Lots of pack ice - Pic Mike Gloistein

On Friday evening as the ship was heading further north two polar bears were spotted.

Noon Position Report Friday, 26 July 2013

Latitude: 76° 14.6 N
Longitude: 005° 23.8 W
Bearing: 246 °T, 302 Nm from Longyearbyen
Cruise Number: JR288
Distance Travelled: 160
Total Distance Travelled: 2330
Steam Time: 14.58
Total Steam Time: 219.51
Average Speed: 10.97
Total Average Speed: 10.61
Wind: Direction SW, Force 3
Sea State: Slight
Air Temp: 2.9 °C Sea Temp: 1.1 °C
Pressure: 1009.1 Tendency (3hrs): Steady

Occasional fog later in period.
V/l Moving easily in open water to slight sea.
V/l working through large patches of 3-7/10ths pack ice overnight for part of period.
Several icebergs encountered along transit.

MEPG

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JCR Arctic Update 25th July 2013

The JCR spent much of the day in sight of Greenland,  with a heat haze seen across the pack ice.

Arctic view. Pic Mike Gloistein

Not a great deal of wildlife in the past twenty four hours,  a few seals and birds but nothing overly exciting.

Pomarine skua. Pic Mike Gloistein

Noon Position Report Thursday, 25 July 2013

Latitude: 76° 30.9 N
Longitude: 015° 29.2 W
Bearing: 255 °T, 420 Nm from Longyearbyen
Cruise Number: JR288
Distance Travelled: 144
Total Distance Travelled: 2170
Steam Time: 14.42
Total Steam Time: 204.93
Average Speed: 9.99
Total Average Speed: 10.59
Wind: Direction SW, Force 4
Sea State: Calm
Air Temp: 2.8 °C Sea Temp: 2.7 °C
Pressure: 1012.7 Tendency (3hrs): Falling

Thick fog through most of period, lifting occasionally, clearing from 0700.
V/l Moving easily in open water to slight sea & low swell.
V/l working through 3-7/10ths pack ice overnight for part of period.

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JCR Arctic Update 23rd July 2013

The science work being carried out on board the RRS James Clark Ross is very varied,  with underway air sampling,  CTD (Conductivity,  Temperature and Depth),  which includes collecting samples from various depths (as deep as 2,500m to as shallow as 10m).  Water that is collected is than filtered and sampled.  The scientists are also using a small radio controlled boat to sample the very top layer of water.

Science in a small boat. Pic Mike Gloistein

No more polar bear sightings since the last update but there have been sightings of hooded seals and an interesting looking skua.

The CTD being recovered and just below the surface. Pic Mike Gloistein

Noon Position Report

Latitude: 75° 03.0 N
Longitude: 008° 46.6 W
Bearing: 240 °T, 387 Nm from Longyearbyen
Cruise Number: JR288
Distance Travelled: 147
Total Distance Travelled: 2026
Steam Time: 13.92
Total Steam Time: 190.51
Average Speed: 10.56
Total Average Speed: 10.63
Wind: Direction WSW, Force 2
Sea State: Slight
Air Temp: 4 °C Sea Temp: 4.4 °C
Pressure: 1019.4 Tendency (3hrs): Steady

Fog through most of period, lifting occasionally.
V/l Moving easily in open water to slight sea & low swell.
V/l working through 3-6/10ths pack ice overnight for part of period.

MEPG

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JCR Arctic Update 22nd July 2013

Polar bear and cubs. Pic Mike Gloistein

Another day of thick fog in the morning and then clearing during the afternoon.  The ship was only a few miles off the coast of Greenland and it was lovely to see.  There was a heavy patch of sea ice between us and the coast and a number of seals were sighted.  Then,  after a lot of pondering,  it was decided that a polar bear could also be seen,  very well camouflaged on the ice.  This warranted further investigation.

Once closer it was seen to be a mother and her two cubs.

Polar bear and cubs. Pic Richard Turner

Polar bear and cubs. Pic Richard Turner

I think the picture below is of a  ‘fog-bow’ or ‘Ulloa’s Ring’.  According to the Marine Observers Handbook,  which is the bible of all things weather related for the mariner,  this  is known as a ‘white rainbow’ and is formed when raindrops are very small,  as in the case of some cloud or fog.  For a fog-bow to be seen the observer must be close to the cloud,  or near or in the fog.  We managed the latter!

Fogbow. Pic Mike Gloistein

The final picture for this report is just a lovely view.  With near mirror seas and ice,  this picture had to be included.

Stunning Arctic views. Pic Mike Gloistein

Noon Position Report:

Latitude: 74° 48.5 N
Longitude: 017° 36.0 W
Bearing: 245 °T, 506 Nm from Longyearbyen
Cruise Number: JR288
Distance Travelled: 149
Total Distance Travelled: 1879
Steam Time: 12.52
Total Steam Time: 176.59
Average Speed: 11.90
Total Average Speed: 10.64
Wind: Direction E, Force 1
Sea State: Calm
Air Temp: 1 °C Sea Temp: 1.5 °C
Pressure: 1017.5 Tendency (3hrs): Falling
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James Clark Ross Arctic Cruise 2013 – JR288

The James Clark Ross is currently engaged on a month long science cruise,  designated JR288, to the Arctic.

Initially the ship is working to the east of Greenland, slowly heading further north,  and will then turn east towards Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen.

Our first encounter with ice was on Sunday 21st July, with clear sky,  sunshine and little wind.

Arctic Ice

Arctic Ice

The highlight of the afternoon was when a lone Polar Bear was spotted swimming not too far from the ship.

Polar Bear swimming

Polar Bear swimming

We were lucky to spend some time with this magnificent animal, and the view got much better when it climbed out onto a nearby ice-floe.

Polar Bear on ice

Polar Bear on ice

Position Report for Entry

Latitude: 73° 6′ N
Longitude: 13° 6′ W
Cruise Number: JR288
Air Temperature: 2.0 °C
Sea Temperature: 2.4 °C
Pressure: 1012.12 hPa
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JR Update 14th January 2013

Today did not start well and I was not sure that I would have much to write about this evening.  I did consider taking pictures of banoffee pie as the highlight of the day at one point.

In the early hours of this morning the ship took a fairly hefty roll,  which seems to have woken nearly everyone onboard…….except for me.  I have no idea how I managed to sleep through it but that is what I did.  A bit of a shock when I got into the Radio Room to discover my electronic keyer on the deck but it does seem  to have survived the fall,  thankfully.

The morning continued with some motion,  the scientists started their day at 05:00,  and by late morning the weather was turning rather miserable with some snow.  All in all not a great day.

This afternoon the James Clark Ross approached Elephant Island,  which is where Ernest Shackleton landed and started his epic voyage in the James Caird, to South Georgia.  This is to be re-enacted, starting  on the 20th January. As we got closer to land the weather started to change,  the sky cleared and the sun came out.

Elephant Island this afternoon. Pic Mike Gloistein

Elephant Island this afternoon. Pic Mike Gloistein

Wildlife Spotted

Cape Petrel
Humpback whale
Southern Fulmar
White-chinned Petrel
Chinstrap Penguins
Fin Whale
Grey-headed Albatross

Position Report @ 1500UTC

Latitude: 60° 12.0 S
Longitude: 055° 06.9 W
Bearing: 170 °T, 522 Nm from Stanley, Falkland Islands
Cruise Number: JR274
Distance Travelled: 128
Total Distance Travelled: 588
Steam Time: 17.18
Total Steam Time: 86.95
Average Speed: 7.45
Total Average Speed: 6.76
Wind: Direction SW, Force 6
Sea State: Rough
Air Temp: 0.7 °C Sea Temp: 1.2 °C
Pressure: 993.8 Tendency (3hrs): Falling

Overcast with occasional showers.

R&P moderately to moderate sea and moderate WSW’ly swell

Latterly encountered strips and small patches of brash ice & light pack ice

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