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21 May, 2012 RRS Ernest Shackleton

THe RRS Ernest Shackleton departed Stanley on the 29th April heading north for the UK, after a very busy and successful Antarctic season.

The trip north was pretty uneventful and mostly done in calm seas. This afforded the Deck Dept. the opportunity to get stuck into a myriad of jobs that they were unable to attend to whilst in the ice.

RRS Ernest Shackleton loading cargo at Maire Harbour, Falkland Islands

Rod Strachan our resident Fish Nurse and ex winter BC of Rothera, managed capture these images of the Famous fish in flight. Not an easy task by any means.

We duly crossed the Equator on Saturday the 12th May and were boarded by King Neptune and his entourage in order for us to pay homage and beg safe passage onwards. After the formalities were over the initiates disappeared. A description of what ensued is provided by Deck Cadet, Matt Neill


Two sailors and a FiD have recently been found guilty on board the RRS Ernest Shackleton. The men, who cannot be named for legal reasons all pleaded guilty to a long list of crimes against humanity.

Such atrocities include, shamelessly killing clams, being a cruise ship queen and admitting to being a gardener.

Grant, Will and Rod may have all committed different crimes but their sentence was the same, covered in slops and given medicine

The Shackleton three were summoned to meet Neptune and Queen Martina on the main deck, the guilty were given a chance to give themselves up but instead they tried to run, like rats. It was deemed more sporting to let them hide; ‘they have no escape’ said one on looker.

After sometime, the crew went on the hunt and quickly ascertained, the guilty three had pre meditated plans to pervert the court of justice. The crew took longer than first anticipated to smoke them out.

As each was captured, their crimes were read to them and a fair trial ensued. The mob wanted blood; their chants of guilty could be heard on the bridge.  After sentencing had been carried out, the reformed three had finally appeased the lord of the sea and everybody could enjoy the BBQ.


We called into Madeira the following weekend to top up our fuel tanks for the last push on to Immingham. The vessel was only in port a few hours but all who wanted to managed to get ashore and have a quick look around the town and markets.  Most were very impressed with what the Island appeared to offer.  We were all too soon on our way back to sea. Grateful for the short sunny interlude.

Whilst in  port we tested the launching procedures of the Port lifeboat and gave some of the crew not normally involved in these operations the opportunity to use the equipment.

We should be arriving in Immingham on Saturday 26th May.

Words: Pat O’Hara and Matt Neill

Pics Dave Bailey, Matt Neill and Rod Strachan