RRS Bransfield - Position Report 22

Date Sunday 7th March 1999
Time 1200 (UTC-3)
Position Latitude 51°41' South
Longitude 057°49' West 
FIPASS, Stanley Harbour, Falkland Islands
Next destination Rothera Base
ETA 13th March 1999
Total distance 20462.1 Nautical Miles 
(Since departing Grimsby on 17th October 1998)
Current weather Clear and sunny
Wind 35 knots
Sea state n/a
Air temperature 15.9°C
Sea temperature 12.2°C

Ship's track - Updated every six hours from the weather observations sent to Bracknell weather centre - direct from BAS homepage.


The Bransfield arrived at Prince Olav Harbour mid-morning on Sunday 28th February and once anchored the work-boat Erebus was put into the water and started regular runs to the old whaling station. The whaling station ceased working in the late 1930's and so is now in a very poor state of repairs, almost looking as though it were built from matchsticks! There were a large number of fur seals around the station and they were not as friendly as those at Bird Island, being keen to bite. However, with some skill, it was possible to avoid a nasty nip and all visitors returned without a single scratch. Just off the whaling station is the wreck of a ship called Brutus, looking somewhat forlorn now with grass growing over her decks and with a list to port.

The Bransfield departed from Prince Olave Harbour in the early evening and made towards Stanley. The voyage proved to be uneventful, with several Fin whales (see photo) being sighted and some hour glass dolphins joining us briefly on Monday afternoon. Due to favorable weather the ship arrived at the FIPASS, Stanley Harbour, at 1700 on Wednesday 3rd and made fast. First thing on Thursday morning the hatches were opened and all the waste collected from Halley, Bird Island and Signy was discharged ashore for disposal. A small amount of cargo, including some very large rocks for Rothera, were loaded and all cargo operations were completed by the Friday afternoon, leaving the weekend free for those not on duty to relax.

The Antarctic summer is now drawing to a rapid close and when the Bransfield sails from Stanley it will be the last time that she heads south this season. The BAS aircraft, four Twin Otters and a Dash 7, are all due to be in Stanley this afternoon, on the first leg of their journey back to England and when the Bransfield reaches Rothera next weekend it will be to carry out all those personnel who are not remaining for the winter. This final leg, down the Antarctic Peninsula, is probably one of the most spectacular journeys one can take, with breathtaking scenery as the ship travels down between islands and through small channels surrounded by high mountains. During this period the Bransfield will visit the Ukranian base at Vernadsky (formerly the British Faraday base), Palmer Station (an American base) and Port Lockroy (an Antarctic Heritage Trust site open to visiting tourist vessels during the summer months). There will also be a diving programme run from the ship on the journey north from Rothera whilst en-route to Signy base, which will be closed for the coming winter.
Forthcoming Events

Depart Stanley on Tuesday 9th March and head for Rothera Base, with a brief stop at Port Lockroy and Vernadsky.

GM0HCQ/MM QRV 14052kHz @ 2030z & 0000z

The next update will be written on Sunday 14th March 1999 and should be published on Monday 15th March 1999.

The wreck of Brutus at Prince Olav Harbour


Prince Olav Harbour whaling station


Two Fin whales 'blowing' just off the Bransfield, Monday 1st March 1999


Looking down the Green, Stanley. The Upland Goose Hotel is just on the right, with Stanley Cathedral in the distance.


Last updated 08/03/1999 - webmaster@dartcom.co.uk