RRS Bransfield - Position Report 31 (Final)

Date Thursday 6th May 1999
Time zone BST (UTC+1)
Position Arrived at Royal Dock, Grimsby, at 0930
Run Finished With Engines 1000
Total distance 31981.6 Nautical Miles 
(Since departing Grimsby on 17th October 1998)

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

The Final Chapter

The Bransfield continued to enjoy very good weather as she crossed the Bay of Biscay and entered the English Channel late on Monday evening. Progress up the Channel was steady with the ship keeping to the French side (due to the traffic separation schemes in operation for safety purposes). On Wednesday morning the Bransfield passed the White Cliffs of Dover and made a turn across the traffic lanes so as to be able to follow the east coast all the way up to Spurn Point, where the Pilot would embark. The weather was good during the morning but by the middle of the afternoon it had changed, with visibility dropping dramatically and it even snowed on several occasions! As we had time in hand the speed was reduced and so we arrived off of Spurn Point at about 0730 on Thursday morning. The weather had done nothing to improve itself and it was impossible to see any land. The Pilot joined the ship at 0800 and then proceeded to advise the route to the locks into the Royal Dock, Grimsby. Just before the lock-gates two tugs, Inge and Jadi, came out and attached ropes, one tug forward and one tug aft, to help us negotiate through the narrow channel that is the lock.

From the lock a large crowd could be seen waiting on the dockside for the ships arrival (including someone dressed as a penguin!). Once into the Royal Dock the ship was turned through 360 and slowly backed into the correct berth for the discharge of cargo. The gangway was put down, the ship cleared by Customs and then the mass of waiting family and friends came on board.

The Catering team had laid on a lovely buffet lunch for one and all in the Officers Wardroom and this was enjoyed to the full.

The Bransfield will move from cargo berth on Saturday morning and all but the Senior Officers will leave the vessel by Saturday lunchtime to enjoy their well earned leave. It was two hundred and one days ago that the Bransfield departed from this very berth for the start of the 1998/99 season in Antarctica.

Final Facts and Figures

Since the Bransfield was launched in 1971 she has steamed a total distance of 897,227 miles, spending 83,056 hours underway. In this time the total time that the two main engines have been run for is 142,246 hours (the difference in engine hours is because the ship does not always run on two engines and one engine is the norm for passage between the UK and the Falklands and then depending on ice and weather conditions dictates the number of engines used once south of the Falklands).

...And Finally

This will the the final Bransfield Update as it is with much sadness that I can now report that the Bransfield has completed her final voyage south with the British Antarctic Survey.  A newer vessel will be taking her place for forthcoming seasons. Having completed twenty-nine voyages it is now time to move on.

Mike Gloistein - Radio Officer - mepg@bas.ac.uk

Last updated 09/05/1999 - webmaster@dartcom.co.uk