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February 24, 2003 at 11:46 am #186
You may have been wondering what has happened here and why there have not been any new Antarctic photo’s. Well to make a long story short, this has been one crazy winter season so far. For the third year in a row the giant iceberg north of us has prevented the sea ice from breaking up. The ice in front of McMurdo usually melts enough that our supply ship, fuel tanker, and a couple of tourist boats manage to get in here with no problem. Each year now the ice has been getting thicker and thicker. This year it’s as much as 14 feet thick in some places. The icebreakers can only break the same channel as last year. Outside of that it is just too thick. None of the ice is floating away. The breakers don’t have a problem because they ride up on it but all the other boats have to push the ice sideways and there is no place for it to go. The boat with the next years supplies managed to get through after getting stuck a couple of times and a tow from the icebreakers. They almost didn’t get out, though after they unloaded. Now the fuel tanker with all the fuel for this side of antarctica for the next year can only get within 5 miles of here. This has never happened before, which is precipitating a small crisis. Currently the plan is to get all the hoses for the airfields and string them the 5 miles out to where the boat is stuck. If all goes well we will have the boat unloaded within the next 10 days or so. If it doesn’t work, well maybe we’ll all be packing our bags. keep your fingers crossed. As soon as everything settles down I’ll post some photo’s of the whole operation.
mikeFebruary 24, 2003 at 8:22 pm #1618ladyorenMember
Good luck and best wishes to you two, I know the hard times down there, Wintered over in 86-87, and we were riddled with bad storms, power outages, lost food containers, a bad midwinter air drop, other than that all went pretty smooth. I helped contstruct the water plant in town, and dimantle the old one up on the hill, that was quite a job.[/font:qdgzyvdl]
February 26, 2003 at 3:23 am #1619_IRMember
Be safe and we will look for you when you return.
– IRFebruary 26, 2003 at 5:55 am #1620
The fuel offload is in full swing and everything is going smoothly although they are not pumping as fast as they would have liked. Today the USS Healy pulled into the ice pier for their much needed break.Right now they are packed into our store buying souveniers. They’ve been breaking ice non stop for the last 3 weeks. In some ways they are the heros of the day, coming in at the last minute to give the Polar Sea some help. We all appreciate their help. I found the following web report on the effort to get the American Tern supply ship in. It is in the Healy’s weekly log. Click http://www.uscg.mil/pacarea/healy/ to read.
It’s interesting to see their side of things.
I still don’t have my computer hooked to the web so no photo’s for a few more weeks.
mikeFebruary 26, 2003 at 5:59 am #1621
Whooops. That was the Healy’s home page address. Follow through Operation Deep Freeze and find the XO’s weekly report. Or if I can copy it right click http://www.uscg.mil/pacarea/healy/deployments/DF03/xo/16feb.htm
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