Polar Radar for Ice Sheet Measurements

Curved ice line
Jagged line
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Wednesday 25 October 2000
So, overnight and for around 12 hours altogether we broke in through the fast ice for about nine kilometres - to reach the anchorage/tie up point about three kilometres from the Station at 0414 this morning. That’s pretty slow, but the ice was thick and it is hard going. This is how the ship breaks through the fast ice. With both engines going and a lot of power the ship hits the front edge of the ice and with the shape of the bow starts to ‘ride up’ on to the ice and slides along the top of it until it starts to break with the weight of the ship coming down on it. The ship gradually loses speed and forward momentum till it comes to a stop - this is typically after about 60-80 metres not quite the length of the ship. The ship then backs off more than a ships length and takes another run at the ice, following the same procedure and making perhaps another 60-80 metre gain. Some of the broken ice gets pushed up onto the fast ice but most of it actually goes under the ship and gets churned up and broken and comes out in the channel at the back. As we go further in, the channel behind us is filled with broken up blocks of ice and slush and all and starts to refreeze into place - it will be interesting to see how we go getting out of this channel - which is only as wide as the ship.

No one got much sleep last night because fast ice breaking is a very noisy, uncomfortable situation with the ship lurching about and going forward and backward, with motors alternately going quiet and very noisy. Gordon, just to be contrary, said it was one of the best nights sleep he’d had recently - actually slept from 11 at night till about 5 in the morning!!!

There was a lot of movement of people and cargo after we were securely at our anchorage/tie up point. Our operations at Davis are covered in the special report "Davis Operations".

Work today stopped at 2000.



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