On Antarctic sea ice

  • Trajet Astrolabe R0 2014
  • Glaciometre devant L Astrolabe

Every year, L'Astrolabe is doing five trips (R0 to R4) from Hobart harbour (Tasmania, Australia), to Dumont d'Urville station (Terre Adelie, Antarctic), to supply IPEV French missions. For about three years, ice didn't break up around the station, and the ship cannot dock. Unloading fuel has to be done via the ice, something new over there. This is to assist the new logistics that I went to the other side of the world! Before driving heavy convoys on sea ice, I took part into reconnaissance and did ice thickness measurements between L'Astrolabe and the station, with an EM31, the same instrument that we have been using for about ten years in the Arctic. On November 1st, it was not possible for L'Astrolabe to approach less than 75km from the continent, but the supply had to begin as soon as possible, tanks were getting low. See pictures.

Setting foot in Antarctica, discovering Dumont d'Urville station, meeting up again with albatrosses, getting to know the emperors and Adelie penguins, embarking on L'Astrolabe (which sailed the Northeast passage eleven years before Vagabond), helping the French scientific missions in Antarctica, travelling around the world ... what a trip!