Friday, 15 August 2008

Almost out.

Alex just called by sat phone

The Berri is just below the tip of the Tasmania Islands. Ice all around, "it's a wall" but they can see one small opening to the NW. That is consistent with the ice charts and so that is where he will be heading.
Last night, Alex steered to"what seemed sensible" and is still underway.The Amodino is not so lucky.
The Berri crew has all been up all night dodging/fighting ice. They have not had time to do anything but handle the boat. (And I would hope to think- a quick bite) The call was short as Alex had to return to deck at once. He sounded tired and stressed. A long, long few miles and they will be out of it.

Fingers still crossed, just knocked on wood. If I thought throwing salt over my shoulder would help, I would go home and do it.

The Amodino is stuck in the ice. They are much larger and can hopefully push their way around. Good luck to them. The Berri is too small and under powered to help, if there was a prayer to get close enough to help.  I saw a small oil tanker with a bent propeller and shaft from the ice. The shaft was designed for the arctic and was several feet (1Meter) diameter. This is scary stuff.

Ice this dense,1/10 to 2/10,  doesn't just float around, it plays bumper penguin. One moving piece bumps into the next stopping but causes the next piece to take off, and so on. Openings close quickly and new opening happen just as fast. It's hard enough in the daylight, just try it in the dark. The unlucky boat gets caught. The really unlucky boat gets damaged. You really have to stay on your toes. Add land and the ice stacks up with a continuous buildup. Extreme buildup causes pressure ridges and kills ships.

Today's ice map similar to yesterdays so will not post.


PS Alex can correct my over dramatization when he has a chance.