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BLOG: With Agulhas II into "perennial ice": progress report
It began toward the end of September 2019 in a discussion with Dr. Christine Wesche of the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI). The idea of using a supply trip by the icebreaker S.A. Agulhas II to the AWI Antarctic station to conduct some research at the same time evolved in a few weeks with the support of DLR, AWI, and not least also my family, into a concrete plan....
Friday, 21 February – Thursday, 27 February 2020
Back to the Cape of Good Hope
After the final science activities were concluded at the Good Hope Line we headed directly to Marion Island, a remote isle in the Indian Ocean at 46.7°S and 37.8°E. With the wind continuously pushing us from behind S.A. Agulhas II could swiftly reach the last station in tune with the regular rhythm of the waves.
Friday, 14 February – Thursday, 20 February 2020
On this part of the voyage S.A. Agulhas II spent a total of 18 days, 13 hours and 50 minutes inside the Antarctic Circle (66° 33' 55" South), and our Antarctic experience ended when we left the Ekström Ice Shelf on 15 February. Despite the previous day's icy wind on the observation deck, the late evening atmosphere just had to be enjoyed once again for the last time. The moon rising over an iceberg drifting in Atka Bay and the play of colours in the heavens over Ekström Ice Shelf and Neumayer-Station III were a worthy conclusion.
Friday, 07 January – Thursday, 13 February 2020
At Fimbul Ice Shelf
Meanwhile, I am well past the half-way mark of my trip on Agulhas II. The last three weeks have been extremely eventful and thus rich in new experiences. Entries for this blog could be speedily written and it was hard to make the right choice of images from the many at hand. In the past week the ship has been quasi-stationary at Penguin Bukta to unload freight and take on board almost 70 new passengers. So there was enough time to let one's gaze wander past the edge of the East Antarctic ice shelf and over to the West Antarctic.
Friday, 31 January – Thursday, 06 February 2020
Dog’s Head – Atka-Bay
The crossing from the Dog’s Head ice shelf formation to Atka Bay led along 68°30’S and thus north of the sea ice border and directly westward. For the trip south on 02 Feb. 2020 through the sea ice belt suitable TerraSAR-X images were provided that also in this case again showed us a favourable route to our destination, the Ekström ice shelf.
Friday, 24 January – Thursday, 30 January 2020
Cape Town – Antarctica
The first two days at sea were relatively calm and pleasant, and the medication has had the desired effect. In the night to Saturday the "Roaring Forties" and the "Furious Fifties" showed a bit of what they had in them. A low pressure area gave us waves 3.5 m high from the southwest and caused the S.A. Agulhas II to rock regularly back and forth to match the rhythm of the South Atlantic. What helped us to fall asleep early in the night became unpleasant swaying in the course of the early morning hours, accompanied by creaking, squeaking, and vibration throughout the whole ship. Nevertheless, according to other passengers who were sea-tested, this was nothing special but more like pleasant to normal conditions.
Friday, 17 January – Thursday, 23 January 2020
Munich – Cape Town – S.A. Agulhas II
After a smooth flight from Munich to Cape Town I encountered sunny but, surprisingly, extremely windy weather at the foot of Table Mountain. An intensive cut-off low pressure system over the Cape region brought this strong wind, and on Sunday even rain, which makes it feel more like "the North Sea in autumn" than "South Africa in high summer". Unfortunately, these conditions interfered with the rapid loading of the ship, and even the harbour itself was for closed two days to incoming and outgoing ships. In the end, our departure was delayed by three days, which considerably increased our impatience on our last day in the harbour.
BLOG: With Agulhas II into "perennial ice":
progress report part 1
It began toward the end of September 2019 in a discussion with Dr. Christine Wesche of the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI). The idea of using a supply trip by the icebreaker S.A. Agulhas II to the AWI Antarctic station to conduct some research at the same time evolved in a few weeks with the support of DLR, AWI, and not least also my family, into a concrete plan. After the obligatory medical check-up and instruction about environmental protection in the Antarctic we were to head toward South Africa already in mid-January.
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