How’s life on the RRS Sir David Attenborough?

21 December, 2021

It’s been a busy few weeks for RRS Sir David Attenborough! After departing the UK on its maiden voyage over a month ago, the ship has made it all the way to Antarctica.  Back here in Cambridge, we’ve been wondering just what its been like, travelling almost 9,000 miles on Britain’s new polar ship. We asked the ship’s Doctor, Jenna Plank, to tell us….

A snowman sits on the helideck of RRS Sir David Attenborough on its maiden voyage
Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas…on the SDA anyway! Credit: Jenna Plank, BAS


‘How’s life on the SDA?’ seems to be the million dollar question.

Well lets see……….


Its saving dummies doing drills

Teaching and improving skills


It’s looking after every member of the crew

From medical to morale, it’s on my list to do


It’s fire drills and playing pirates

And watching the FIDS play darts


It’s fighting Neptune’s army on the SDA

And getting covered in slops anyway


It’s making cakes and cards for special days

And learning to do things in different ways


While the ship rocks and rolls across the Atlantic

And I think back to when my life was so frantic


But now its peaceful sunrises that get us up early

And crossing the line with my new ship family


And its holding the flag and wondering how……

Did I get here….is this real life….. just WOW


Jenna Plank


Photo taken from the side of RRS Sir David Attenborough on its maiden voyage. There is open ocean to the right and the sun is setting
The view from RRS Sir David Attenborough. Credit: Jenna Plank, BAS