Newsletter: "Snow Dragon Brothers" Antarctic Love
Xinhua News Agency, "Xuelong 2", November 22, by wire: the "Snow Dragon Brothers" are in deep love at the South Pole.
Xinhua News Agency reporter Liu Shiping
As of 04:35 Beijing time on the 22nd, the "Xuelong 2" polar research icebreaker had broken the marginal ice about 10 nautical miles in the continental margin ice area near Zhongshan Station. The ice-breaking operation advanced smoothly, creating favorable conditions for the large-scale unloading of the Xuelong.
The 36th Antarctic Expedition of China is the first "Ssangyong Exploration Pole". "Xuelong" has strong loading capacity and relatively fast speed, and it is mainly responsible for the transportation of materials to Antarctica. And the first voyage of the Antarctic "Xuelong 2" ice breaking ability, in previous years, "Xuelong" sea ice unloading from Zhongshan Station is always relatively far away, this "Xuelong 2" can be of great help. Since entering the floating ice zone of the Southern Ocean, "Ssangyong" has helped each other and "brothers" are in deep love.
Ice breaking in floating ice zone
At about 15:00 Beijing time on the 19th, the "Snow Dragon Brothers" sailing outside the Antarctic Circle marched towards Zhongshan Station for the first time. However, about 200 nautical miles from Zhongshan Station, dense floating ice blocked the "Snow Dragon" road, making its navigation difficult.
In view of this, the expedition decided to let the Xuelong 2 go ahead to break the ice and pilot.
After entering the Antarctic Circle, there are more and more dense floating ice areas. Although the Snow Dragon 2 opened its way in front of it, its waterway was quickly piled up by ice, making it difficult for the Snow Dragon to move forward.
At noon on the 20th, the Snow Dragon was surrounded by dense floating ice. The "Xuelong 2", which is about 2 nautical miles apart, immediately turned the bow and widened the waterway for the "Xuelong" to get rid of the siege in time.
"Little Test Niu Dao" Continental Edge Ice
On the evening of the 20th, the two ships arrived at the continental margin ice area about 13 nautical miles from Zhongshan Station. "Xuelong 2" immediately carried out the first continental edge ice breaking operation, opening the way for the "Xuelong", which will unload sea ice on a large scale.
According to the design ability, "Xuelong 2" can continuously break the ice at a speed of 2 to 3 knots under the ice condition of 1.5 meters thick ice and 0.2 meters thick snow.
After breaking about a nautical mile, the Snow Dragon 2 pulled out of the icebroken waterway, and the Snow Dragon sailed along it.
This is just the "Xuelong 2"small test cow knife", which will break the longer distance of land edge ice and bring the "Xuelong" closer to Zhongshan Station, making it safer and faster to unload 1450 tons of materials.
Zhongshan Station is getting closer and closer
At about 23:00 on the 20th, the expedition team met to discuss the ice-breaking route and unloading plan of the "Xuelong 2". Overnight, it carried out air and ice exploration and inspected the ice situation, so as to lay the foundation for the upcoming ice-breaking operation and sea ice unloading.
After the team determined the ice-breaking route according to the latest ice analysis and judgment, the Xuelong 2 began continuous ice-breaking operations at 15:48 on the 21st.
The thickness of ice in the continental margin ice area varies, so ice breaking is not a straight channel to Zhongshan Station.
As the "Snow Dragon" could not turn and follow up at a bend, at 22:10 on the 21st, the "Snow Dragon 2", which had broken several nautical miles of ice road, turned around again to help and straighten the bend through the ice. Two hours later, the Snow Dragon followed up and the Snow Dragon 2 continued to break the ice in the direction of Zhongshan Station.
On the 22nd, reporters came to the "Snow Dragon" ship, where some Zhongshan station and inland departure base are already using helicopters to transport much-needed fuel and other materials. At the same time, "Xuelong 2" continued to break the ice, Zhongshan Station has become closer and closer. After breaking the ice to the appropriate position, the "Snow Dragon" will follow up, and the sea and air three-dimensional unloading will begin at that time.