Saturday, 15 December 2012

The Journey on the JCR

Bye bye Falklands, civilisation,
penguins and green stuff!
The JCR is short for James Clark Ross which is one of two ships mainly used by BAS. (for more info: http://www.gm0hcq/jcr_update.htm)

Home for the next
5 days!

We left Stanley Port on Saturday morning (15/12/12) at about 9.30am. Shortly after, we anchored in the bay close by. At 10.30am we (more or less) suddenly heard the emergency signal (seven or more short blasts followed by one long blast). Being well prepared through the Personal Survival Technique Course (Sea Survival) and the briefing on the previous day, everyone knew where to get the immersion suit and lifejacket from in the cabin. After mustering and putting lifejackets on everyone had to disembark the ship and enter the closed lifeboats. Those not being claustrophobic were pretty lucky (thank god I am not ...). After being strapped into our seats we were talked through the next steps (how the lifeboat would be released with pulling one string; how we would not get any food or drinks for 24hours but had to go to the toilet – psychological thing apparently, if you don’t go, you might really struggle afterwards; how the fuel lasted for only a certain amount of time; how we would try to meet up with the other lifeboat – basically gang up together against the ocean; how we should really take the seasickness pills being handed out – one person starting vomiting, enclosed area, really warm, smelly ... probably don’t need to go into more detail; how there was an EPIRB attached to each lifeboat). Afterwards it got serious, the string was pulled AND ... just kidding, we all got out again and gladly passed the test of being prepared for any eventuality. Note: Since a ship had a major incident during the night after leaving port before everyone had taken part in the necessary drill, regulations state that the drill has to be done before the ship leaves. As we had to leave port, we anchored in the bay!
In the liferaft!

All ready to go!
At some point in the afternoon we finally left and I nearly missed it (luckily someone woke me up). Paranoid about getting seasick, I had taken one of those seasickness tablets and it had put me straight so sleep. No more overly exciting things happened today (except for the whole fact of being on a ship and sailing towards Antarctica!!!).

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