Thursday, January 27, 2011

The icebreaker Oden

The US Antarctic Program contracts with the Swedish Polar Programs to have an icebreaker clear the McMurdo Sound and bring the tanker and cargo ship into port. (The dock is a floating mass of layers of ice and dirt, the near one is the current floating dock and the farther one is a ten year old dock.) The Swedish icebreaker Oden has been doing this duty for a number of years. Previously I had seen it out in the Sound, but this year (thanks to Mark Krasberg!) we got a tour of the ship.

It's a big, blocky ship, about 350 feet long and probably a good 120 feet or so wide. Quite pretty in a serious way. It's also beautifully kept up with nary a spot of rust, even after a hundred day cruise down from Scandinavia to the Southern Ocean.

Lifeboat and wing of bridge.

Our informal tour group on the gun turret mounting. The Oden was originally built for the Swedish military.

More Oden info can be found at Wikipedia and some pictures from a 2007 cruise on Wired.

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