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Noble News

In this section, our aim is to keep you updated with news from Noble Caledonia which will include updates from the ships.

 

MS Hebridean Sky Update 

 We left Hebridean Sky acting as an accommodation ship for British Antarctic Survey in the Falklands as they collected their staff returning home after the long Antarctic season by various methods.  Now as the last of their staff were embarked, her role changed from that of accommodation ship to that of ferry – probably the most comfortable ferry in the world, but then she was just about to embark on the longest ferry sailing in the world – some 8000 miles!

 Over the last month or so various flights from the British Antarctic Survey stations and sailings between the stations and Port Stanley of their own Royal Research Ship, the James Clark Ross have transferred almost 90 of their staff from the Great White Continent to Hebridean Sky at Port Stanley.

For those who are interested in such things, RRS James Clark Ross is named after a British Royal Naval Officer who is known for participating in 6 Arctic exploration expeditions between 1818 and 1833 and for leading his own Antarctic exploration expedition 1839-1843 when he commanded HMS Erebus and surveyed and charted much of the coastline of the continent.  Interestingly much of the support for the Antarctic expedition was undertaken by Rear Admiral Francis Beaufort who was at the time the Hydrographer of the Navy but is better known these days for developing the Beaufort scale of wind measurements.  In 1841 Ross discovered and named the Ross Sea, Victoria Land and the volcanoes Mount Erebus and Mount Terror – the latter named after the expedition’s support ship HMS Terror.  James Ross Island off the Antarctic Peninsula was named in his honour. 

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James Clark Ross keeps station in the harbour to transfer staff to Hebridean Sky alongside

 The last transfer of BAS staff took place in Port Stanley on 7 May.  The James Clark Ross arrived off Hebridean Sky’s berth and kept station using a sophisticated system called Dynamic Positioning – this uses GPS co-ordinates to keep the ship stationery in one spot with helm and engine adjustments being made automatically to ensure the vessel remains in exactly the same spot.  Staff were transferred using Rockhopper which is the stores and passenger tender from James Clark Ross.  All were landed directly onto the Marina Deck of Hebridean Sky to maintain the pristine environment for BAS staff.

Once the last of the BAS staff were embarked and welcomed on board, Captain Henrik Karlsson ordered the mooring lines to be let go and eased the engine levers to dead slow ahead as Hebridean Sky started the long voyage to the UK and finally departed from the Falklands after almost 2 months.  En route BAS staff will be accommodated in a healthy environment (we have gone to great lengths over the 2 months to preserve the healthy, infection-free environment on Hebridean Sky) and we are told we can expect a visit from King Neptune as the ship crosses the Equator.  On arrival in the UK, we shall have been proud to do our bit to reunite these BAS staff members with their families and loved ones at a time when travel any other way was challenging to the point of being impossible.

Once we have disembarked our BAS guests, we shall then start to reunite our own crew members with their families at the end of a job very well done.

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Goodbye Port Stanley

As we leave the Falklands we would like to thank the Falklands Islands Government, especially the Marine Officer and Harbourmaster Captain Chris Locke and his staff, and the staff of Sullivans Shipping Agency, especially port agent Roy Summers, for their unfailing cheerfulness and “can-do” attitude.  through them we offer our grateful thanks too to the people of the Falklands for their help and welcome during our lengthy stay – we look forward to returning in less challenging times!

 

All Photos : Captain Chris Locke – Harbourmaster, Port Stanley

 

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Previous Posts

  In response to enquiries from passengers who were aboard Sea Cloud II for her last voyage before lockdown, we have heard from our associates at Sea Cloud Cruises regarding Sea Cloud and Sea Cloud II. Both vessels are now in Las Palmas with just 22 crew remaining on board. All other crew were repatriated home from the Caribbean until operations can resume once again. Those remaining on board to look after the vessels are well and have sent us the picture below. 

 

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With regards to the Sky vessels. Earlier this week (week commencing 27 April), the MS Island Sky arrived in Portsmouth after sailing from the Falkland Islands (video footage below).  After disembarking some crew, the vessel is now on her way to Sweden where we will use the time to perform maintenance prior to going back into service.The MS Hebridean Sky remains in the Falkland Islands whilst we work with the British Antarctic Survey and the repatriation of their staff and the vessel will be sailing for the UK later this month. The MS Caledonian Sky is currently on her way to Manilla to bring home some members of the crew (photo of the crew below). 

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MS Island Sky arriving into Portsmouth (video courtesy of ‘Proud of Portsmouth')