November 29, 2018 (Google Translation) – The polar patrol boat L’Astrolabe made its first rotation of the austral summer between Hobart and the Adélie land for the benefit of the French Polar Institute ( IPEV ) and French Southern and Antarctic Lands ( TAAF ). Starting on November 6 in Tasmania, he made a stop on November 9 near the Australian island of Macquarie to land 11 people. Then he docked at the Dumont d’Urville station on November 15th.
In addition to the 18 passengers disembarked, he was able to deliver 485 m 3 diesel ” special Antarctic blend ” and 150 tons of cargo to the station. Rarely, a berthing at Dumont d’Urville at the first rotation in November had not been seen since the 2006 season.
Live the time of a crossing the life of the sailors of L’Astrolabe …
“First we had to go back to the roaring forties, the screaming fifties and the sixties roaring. Cross the realm of storms. To be rocked violently, as every time you take off and leave Hobart. Access to the exceptional has a price. He asks us to grit our teeth. And this first rotation was no exception to the rule. There, the sea is never lenient. The haze is becoming denser. She wraps us in gray. The atmosphere is supernatural. We cross this famous Antarctic convergence zone which marks the limit of the icy waters. This meteorological phenomenon is the gateway to another world. A world where hardly anyone goes. “Always further south.” The fog slowly dissipates and the first icebergs appear. They are becoming more and more numerous, more and more majestic. They lead us to the immaculate pack. The dark blue ocean and the sound of the waves violently shattering against the bright red of the hull disappear and leave room for white paradise. The elements stabilize. The passengers are verticalizing again and resurface from their cabins, a camera around the neck. We sail in the ice. The excitement is in full swing. The bridge is in emulsion and looks like a huge airplane cockpit levitating above the clouds. It is the turn of the boat to be violent against the elements. He uses his 4200 tons of steel to split the ice. Ruthless. We hear cracking and rubbing. A good star leads us to cross this ice quickly. And here we are already in the polynya, this area of water left free by an ice floe that has deflated exceptionally early. It gives us access to the Antarctic continent: we are November 15, 2018 and here we are! The Astrolabe is at the feet of Dumont D’Urville where he is about to receive a warm and appreciated welcome. The unloading and refueling operations are a success, they are carried out quickly under a sun that reminds everyone who has refrained from sunscreen on the spot. The time to immortalize the wealth of landscapes and local wildlife that give sparkle to the pupils. One or two poses with emperor penguins for the panache and a squeegee on the pack ice to add exceptional to the adventure. It’s time to go back to sea. Terre Adélie: See you soon! “