Monday, December 30, 2013

Some icy poetic just-ice

On my last post, I posted about record low temperatures in Antarctica. After I did that post, a research vessel got stranded in an ice floe that blew together and froze solid. The floe is approximately ten feet thick. The ship, the Akademik Shokalskiy, is trapped behind about twelve miles of very solid ice. So far, they have not been able to make a trail through the ice, some of the worlds largest ice-breaker ships have not been able to penetrate the icy barrier.
Akademik Shokalskly
The ice-breaker Aurora Australis was the first ship that came to the rescue. It became trapped in the ice for a short time but it was able to break free. The two ships are within clear sight of each other, and there is helicopter transportation in case of a medical emergency, or as will probably happen, they will have to abandon the ship.

From the "Expeditions Online" website: The Akademik Shokalskiy is a fully ice-strengthened expedition vessel built in 1984 for polar and oceanographic research. This class of vessel is world renowned for polar exploration, because of its strength, maneuverability and small passenger numbers. The Shokalskiy provides comfortable accommodation in double and twin cabins with private facilities. All cabins have outside windows and ample storage space. On board there is a combined bar/library lounge area and a dedicated lecture room, where the science team and expedition staff will present a programme of talks.

The ship is of Russian registry and has the following specifications:

  • Classification: Russian register KM ice class
  • Accommodation: 50 berths 
  • Shipyard: Finland
  • Main engines: power 2x1560 bhp (2x 1147 Kw)
  • Maximum speed: 12 knots (2 engines),
  • Cruising speed: 10 knots(one engine)
  • Bunker capacity: 320 tons
I really shouldn't criticize, but some things just scream for criticism. First, it seems that we often read about ships in trouble in the Antarctic seas. Is it really worth all that risk? I have several dear friends that have taken Antarctic cruises. They loved them. they came home with great stories about how they saw ice and penguins... Did I miss something??? I can make ice in my own kitchen refrigerator. You can see Penguins at almost any good zoo. There must have been millions of dollars rescuing these Antarctic adventurers. Who pays for that?  I don't like risk. I won't even risk going on a roller-coaster unless my wife calls me a sissy then I have to, any man will understand that. If people want risk, why don't they do it accomplishing something worthwhile? Like become a volunteer firefighter. Why not save a house or a life? The rewards are immeasurable.

Second: I got carried away on "First". Second: The boat only has 3,120 horse-power that's only 8 times more horsepower than a GTO. Now you see why I call it a boat. It doesn't even have enough horse-power to move the boat, let alone plow ice. Give me a break! Obviously it was built exactly for what it is... being stuck in the ice.

Third: Top speed 12 Knots? People can run that fast. To call itself a ship it should be able to do at least thirty knots. A real ship could do 40.


This 418 foot ship can sustain 45 knots or 52 mph. Photo Dennis Griggs

The thing that I actually find to be the most hilarious about this story is that the boat is in the Antarctic on a scientific expedition studying "Weather Change", formerly known as Global Warming. Karma anyone? Or, Maybe better, hoisted on their own petard.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Iced in, in the middle of summer to boot.

Oregon

Ernie Branscomb said...

I'm doing my part to combat weather change. For about three weeks now I have been scraping ice off my windshield.

What have you done to change the weather?

Ernie Branscomb said...

Link to super-fast ship. super-fast ship

Johnathan Wilson said...

Communist era ship, built out of the best gulag in the motherland. Ill risk fighting fire for free, and enjoy it, over paying to go to Antarctica any day. At least ill be warm in the burning building or on the fireline.....

Rose said...

If this keeps up we'll all be driving govt. mandated SUVs to warm the planet back up :)

Want an 'Expedition' or 'Excusrsion'? Maybe they can rename them after this fiasco :)

liberal jon said...

I'm going to skip the climate change jabs and focus on the main point of the post - the boats and your obvious 411 of boats.
Here is a quote I found from the internets and that amazing final photo.

"The littorals are billed by the Navy as the future of warships, as they are quick, can operate close to shore and have interchangeable “packages” for anti-submarine, anti-ship and anti-mine fighting.

Critics counter that the class, which saw cost per ship rise from $220 million to at least $570 million, has experienced early defects and lacks the fortitude to defend itself."

As with everything in the next generation of war toys, they look and probably are awesome, but are they worth the price tag? Who are we fighting exactly? Notice the great fanfare recently when China produced their first aircraft carrier which I think was build off of an old soviet ship.

Stephen said...

Hey Ernie,

Do you know anything about Cato Lake down in your neck of the woods?

Stephen said...

wonder if ernie ever reads his blog..

Ernie Branscomb said...

Sorry Stephen, thank-you for being patient. I do read all the comments on my smart phone, but the screen is so small and cluttered with advertising garbage that it makes it cumbersome to do replies.

Yes, I know a little bit about the lake, but what are you referring to as Cato Lake?
The original lake in Cahto Valley was drained back in the 1800s and has been used for agriculture since then. The lake that remains in the middle of Long Valley is still there. It is just north of the Indian reservation. The lake was used by the Lakeside Lumber company as a log pond for many years. The area is still called "Lakeside".

What would you like to know?

Ernie Branscomb said...

Sorry Stephen, thank-you for being patient. I do read all the comments on my smart phone, but the screen is so small and cluttered with advertising garbage that it makes it cumbersome to do replies.

Yes, I know a little bit about the lake, but what are you referring to as Cato Lake?
The original lake in Cahto Valley was drained back in the 1800s and has been used for agriculture since then. The lake that remains in the middle of Long Valley is still there. It is just north of the Indian reservation. The lake was used by the Lakeside Lumber company as a log pond for many years. The area is still called "Lakeside".

What would you like to know?

Stephen said...

I've been looking for land sites for our eco-village technology company that's needed for the Native American lottery project whose Good Cause is a real good one, Disaster Relief. Looking a delicious ads for the Shamrock Ranch, such a bargain at only $23,900,000, I just happened to see that 40 acre Cato Lake was for sale and the picture look pretty. The Cato Tribe is actually named after Cato Lake as it means "Lake People" and not referring to Clear Lake although the people were Pomo and not Walaiki or Sinkyone I think. Lot's of green algae in it now. Do you know if there's any fish in it?