Remember me? The adorable little teddy bear that sent you e-mails from Antarctica back in December? Well I've been invited by a friend of Allan Miller's (Dan Wray from Indiana) from the NASA Network of Educator Astronaut Teachers to join the Spacebound Mojave expedition that will be taking place beginning next week in Zzyyxx, California. We'll be teaming up with NASA astrobiology scientists looking at understanding similar questions to some of those that we explored in Antarctica - specifically how life can survive in extreme environments. If you'd like to follow along with us, I will be maintaining another website
which is: http://mojavechippy.squarespace.com/journal/
Besides the desert I will be traveling with Dan's family for a bit - check out my blog for a...
It's true - this weekend Mrs. Chippy - the polar teddy bear that joined me on the Oden - is joining a fellow NASA Network of Educator Astronaut Teacher Dan Wray and heading off to study astrobiology in the Mojave Desert. You can check out their expedition blogs at:
www.mojavechippy.blogspot.com be sure to check out how Mrs. Chippy has traded in the parka for some more appropriate desert attire!
If you or your class enjoyed tracking our expedition and would like a "test" of your latitude and longitude skills - Mrs. Chippy will be doing some extensive traveling across the US and her expected coordinates are in the blog. See if you can predict where this crazy little polar bear will be migrating to this time.
If you'd like to read about the overall expedition - it...
This is a great story giving some background about Dave Carey, who I wrote about in one of my journals. I thought many of you would enjoy some more information about his family in this well written article from our local Alaskan paper. Allan
Story of Lt. David M. Carey put to rest in Antarctica
By Phil Hermanek
Soldotna Mayor Dave Carey displays last week a newspaper announcing the death of his father in a plane crash in Antarctica. Photo by M. Scott Moon Sixteen JAKO rockets, twice the number used by other planes, were used to assist the heavily loaded Neptune patrol plane’s takeoff from Christchurch, New Zealand, according to a Christchurch newspaper account.
The plane’s flight south to Antarctica had already been delayed for an hour while the U.S. Navy crew and...
INTERVIEW with PROFESSOR STEPHEN ACKLEY
Professor Stephen Ackley (http://www.utsa.edu/lrsg/Staff/Steve/SAckley.htm) is the principal investigator (PI) for the Sea Ice research conducted during the Oden cruise 2006/2007 to Antarctica by Dr. Hongjie Xie and Burcu Cicek from UTSA. He participated in outreach efforts of POLARTREC and helped to answer numerous questions related to Antarctic research in the public forums and live conference calls during the Oden cruise. ** *Ute Kaden...
Interview written by my physics students at Homer Hanna HS, Brownsville, TX
Prof. St. Ackley at UTSA, TX ,11/06
How did you become interested in sea ice?
A "life accident"
As generally with many workers in Polar Science (at least the older generation), my involvement with sea ice was a "life accident...
Swedish icebreaker Oden & US Coastguard icebreaker Polar Sea maintaining the Ship channel and escorting supply ships to McMurdo, 1-14-07
Swedish icebreaker Oden at the ice pier in McMurdo, 1-14-07 (photo Oden crew)
The main mission to break the ship channel to McMurdo for the 2006-2007 Antarctic season is accomplished by the Swedish icebreaker Oden –Congratulation. The crew of the Oden will be exchanged in three days - Happy vacation, and job well done.
US Coastguard icebreaker Polar Sea in McMudo, 01-06-07 (photo Oden crew)
US Coastguard icebreaker Polar Sea's mission is to groom the ice channel broken by the Oden and keep it from refreezing while the container ships and fuel ships come to McMurdo, starting to arrive next week, to supply the science station.
This was my last view of the Oden - looking out from the Our Lady of the Snows memorial at the ship with 12 miles of fast ice up to 15 feet thick separating it from McMurdo Station.
Oden approaching McMurdo
Here's a map of what the crew has been trying to accomplish for the past two weeks.
Map of McMurdo Channel route
I was so excited to get these pictures today from First Mate Ola Andersson of the Oden as it sat at the ice pier this weekend - reaching it's destination after over 2 months and 12,000 miles coming from Gotteberg, Sweden.
Oden off the pier
Oden at McMurdo
The cargo ships are enroute from New Zealand, expected to arrive in the next week, so the Oden will work to maintain the channel, keeping it clear of ice and then escorting the ships to and from the pier....
One of my favorite Interviews
Diving, Physics, Math & Engineering - Emily Miller - 23 years - A girl's way...
Emily Miller onboard of the Oden to Antarctica, 2006
Emily was one of my favorite young graduates to interview onboard of the Oden, 2006. She is a wonderful person trying to find her place in life by doing many things like studying physics and mathematics, scuba diving, making cloths, repairing equipment, traveling and learning new skills each day including the Spanish language.
Emily is 23 years old and was born in Pennsylvania. She studied in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania and received her Bachelors of Science in physics and applied mathematics in May, 2005. She works as research technician on board of the Oden where she oversees real time data collection for...
A word to my students:
After visiting Scott's Hut at McMurdo, sailing on the icebreaker Oden through the famous Ross Sea and following the heroic age footsteps of Captain Shakelton's voyage, I had some thoughts I would like to share with you.
Ute Kaden , Oden Antarctica 2006
Look inside an iceberg, Oden 12-22-06
Captain Arnell and First Officer Peterson at the bridge of the Oden, Antarctica 2006
Enjoying the warmth of the strong build icebreaker Oden, admiring the skilled navigation of Captain Tomas Arnell and his crew through the substantial pack ice supported by modern communication equipment (GPS, Radar, Satellites), hearing our powerful diesel engines working strongly well maintained by the engineers and crew of the Oden, eating on schedule the excellent food provided by...
Just thought that I'd let you know that I also have arrived back home in good shape after my Antarctic adventure - and am making up for any lack of time with children by being spoiled rotten by the Mr. Miller's three children!
Mrs. Chippy back home too
I received this note from First Mate Ola Andersson - letting us know that they have completed the ice channel all the way to McMurdo and are actually enjoying some down time at the station. Here is the ice pier that he is talking about - and as soon as I receive a copy from him of the Oden here I'll post that as well. This pier is just ice with layers of dirt mixed in, made over the past two months by hauling material onto the ice, compacting it and adding layers of water until it was actually several feet above the level of the fastice around it. Then they've hauled in the moorings and gangplanks to turn it into a pier. This is where the cargo ships and the fuel tanker will dock to unload.
ice pier at McMurdo
Sounds like the expedition has been successful on all accounts -...
***Oden update ******1-7-06*********
Effective icebreaker and excellent platform for research and science
Oden finished breaking the ship channel successfully on Saturday morning. They are working on the turning basin in McMurdo and maintaining the ice channel at the moment.
Congratulations- Job well done! Oden is an effective icebreaker and an excellent platform for research and science.
***Oden MCMurdo ship channel 12/27/06 ***
Just a quick update tonight - and I promise over the next few days that I'll add a number of new posts. Lots to tell - but suffice to say the helicopter ride to McMurdo was spectacular, I was met by a past student at the station who gave me an incredible tour, the jet ride to New Zealand was long but still very cool - I loved Christchurch New Zealand - but was also very ready for the 30 hours it took to travel back to join my family in Rochester, NY on Friday night. Trips are fantastic - but family and home is always even better! Thanks for all your thoughts, prayers, posts, etc - and I promise to share even more of my 6000 photos and endless stories over the next few days. But for tonight - happy new year and good night from the Adirondacks in New York. Allan
The Oden is breaking the fast ice to McMurdo. This is a complex job for any icebreaker.
Happy New Year Oden crew and all the best for breaking the ship channel! Here are the updates from the officers Mattias peterson and Ola Andersson.
*Hi Ute **
The one year ice started at S 76° 58´8 E 166° 23´4
The multi year ice started at 77° 30´6 E 165°35´1
Oden's current position 77° 45´2 E 166 13´1
We are making good progress in the multi year ice, approximately 2 nm a day or approximately 2½ cable per watch.
Ola Andersson and Mattias Peterson
Oden navigating the leads in the ice , Antarctica 06
*Oden on her way to Ross the Ross Sea
*Oden visible from McMurdo about 12 miles from Hut Point. 12-28-06 *
To: Dr. Karl Erb, Director, NSF/OPP
From: Dr. Brent S. Stewart, Chief Scientist
Re: Oden Situation Report 3
Date: 29 December 2006
Oden Southern Ocean Expedition 2006
The Swedish Polar Icebreaker Oden departed Punta Arenas, Chile, on 12 December 2006 on transit to McMurdo Sound. The objective of this voyage, chartered by the U.S. National Science Foundation, was to position the Oden at the seasonal fast ice edge in McMurdo Sound around 25 December for subsequent opening of the resupply channel through the fast ice to the U.S. McMurdo Research Station. This transit provided a platform of opportunity for scientists from the United States, Sweden, and Chile to conduct limited, collaborative ship-based research in the Bellingshausen, Amundsen, and Ross seas. This expedition is...
Swedish Icebreaker Oden - Who stands on the rudder?
Captain Tomas Arnell and an introduction to his officers Mattias Peterson, Ola Andersson and Lars Grundberg
The Oden started breaking the ship channel to McMudo in the morning. There are no leads anymore for the ship to navigate, only solid fast ice (ice attached to land). One can hear and feel the icebreaking action inside the ship, screeching noise and hard vibrations continuously.
Beautiful straight ice channel to McMurdo-Way to go Oden crew under captain Tomas Arnell.
Look atOden's long cracks. The ice still has a way to go...but what comes later...
Oden started breaking the ice to McMurdo
Proposed channel to McMurdo
Mattias Peterson, Ola Andersson and Lars Grundberg are the three officers that maneuver the...
12-28-06 Ross Island, McMurdo, Scott's Discovery Hut – A place where history and modern exploration meet
"The heroic age of exploration lives on in Antarctica".
Many years ago, Greek writers imagined a large mass of land in the south of the world to 'balance' the land they knew about in the northern half of the world. They named this imagined land Anti-Arkitos, meaning the opposite of the Arctic.
The American McMurdo base is built on the southern end of Ross Island. Ross Island was the base for many of the early expeditions to find and explore the Southern continent.
Ross Island, discovered by Sir James Clark Ross in 1841, is an island formed by volcanoes. The dormant volcanoes Terror (3230 m) and Erebus (3794 m, 12 448 ft) are the southernmost active volcanoes on earth....
I've traveled through lots of airports in my life - but NZIR, or the McMurdo Station Icerunway is now definitely one of my favorites. Orlando may have it's monorails and Dulles has those cool transports with the killer whale dorsal fins - but check out the transport system in Antarctica.
Ivan the Terra Bus
This beast is called Ivan the Terra Bus -and the pity the driver that ever has to change a flat tire on this monster.
Terra Bus tires
Here are the vitals on this NZIR airport
Latitude: 77°51'14"S (-77.853950)
Longitude: 166°28'08"E (166.468761)
Elevation: 1 ft (0 m)
If you look at a map of Ross Island - you will see that this icerunway is located way out on the ice right up next to the Ross Ice Shelf - in fact it took us about half an hour of driving...
In 8th grade, my favorite teacher of all time, Mr. Slusarski - the crazy Pole, introduced us to the incredible story of the Endurance expedition. For 30 years since, Ernest Shackleton has been my hero, the leader who overcame seemingly insurmountable odds –never giving up in his quest to bring back every man alive.
It was so inspiring to explore the streets of Punta Arenas and be walking in his very footsteps, to imagine the excitement as the Yelcho returned with the rescued crew from Elephant Island.
As I rolled across the floor of my cabin trying to sleep while the Oden rocked in the swells of the Drake Passage, I could imagine the James Caird struggling to cross these very seas.
Shackleton and the James Caird
Standing in the ice beside the...
Time to say farewell Oden
The helicopter came back on time to take us to McMurdo. The Oden will continue to break the rest of the ship channel to McMurdo. Our flight back on the C17 was scheduled for the afternoon and went off without a hitch.
Writing this I can tell you we all landed safely in Christchurch, NZ on time, 12-28-06!
Later more, NZ hotels charge for internet use a heavy fee.
Ute Kaden with first officer of the Oden Mattias Peterson saying "Goodbye".
Ute Kaden in the NSF helicopter to McMurdo
Waiting on the icy airfield for take off to Christchurch , NZ
We reached McMurdo Station at about 10 AM and only had four hours until we had to gather ourselves at the transport center to catch a ride out to Willy Field - the ice runway. As I look back it might be the richest four hours of the entire trip - full of sights and sounds that I'll never forget. This was the first face to greet me at McMurdo -
Erik and Allan at McMurdo
Yes this is a local showing me what a real beard looks like! It's also Erik Boraas from Soldotna, Alaska - he had been in my Russian classes and skied on the cross country ski team that I coached back in the mid-90's at Skyview High School. My legs still ache from the day he skied over 100 km in our skiathon to outdo me by about 2 km! He's working this summer season at McMurdo as a general laborer (do...
On Christmas Day we finished crossing the pack ice that surrounds the openwater portion of the Ross Sea. It was an incredible evening - with fog settling over the ice pack and only high cirrus clouds above. These shots were all taken at 1 or 2 in the morning and are some of my favorites from the entire trip.
icebergs in the fog on the Ross Sea
icebergs in the fog on the Ross Sea
icebergs in the fog on the Ross Sea
icebers in the fog on the Ross Sea
On Dec 26 we completed our crossing of the open water on the Ross Sea and reached the edge of the fast ice that extends all the way to Ross Island and McMurdo Station. Here is a view of the open sea at 3 AM on Dec 25.
Openwater in the Ross Sea
This is where the Oden was finally put to work and where she will be for the next month...
Helicopter on the ice
Oden is parked stable against the ice. Since the early morning radio communication with McMurdo indicated that NSF will send the helicopter to pick up our luggage. The pilot checked the ice thickness by drilling and our bags got loaded. We used the time to go for a walk on the ice. The ship looks magnificent from a distance. What fun to hold the big ship up at the bow, dancing on the ice and posing in front of our Oden. The scientists are relieved that all equipment is boxed up loaded, last data backup and lots of hugs between the crew of the Oden and very happy participants.
Helicopter on the ice to pick up luggage
Cook Maria Hermansson and her helpers Emelie Wuopio and Hida Romero
First engineer Per Salo with his ship Oden
Ute Kaden is...
No drill- fire alarm
We started packing up the lab equipment and tried to fit our stuff in the one bag and day bag we were allowed to carry. Suddenly the fire alarm sounded. Everybody took some warm cloths and hurried to the helicopter deck, our point to assemble, quickly and organized.
It turned out that there was no fire onboard after the crew firemen had checked the ship inside out and upside down. We returned a bit shaken, being reminded that there are lots of dangers on a ship and realizing how well the crew was trained for the event.
Look at the photos.
Oden helicopter deck – place to assemble in an emergency situation
Able Seaman, Jan Nilsson, secures the breathing apparatus
Able Seamen, Einar Sjobom
Able Seamen, Einar Sjobom, can undress. After checking...
Dec 26 – What does 70% really mean?
When folks ask me what was the most memorable part of the trip – I’m afraid that my response will likely bring on the yawns. Sure I’ve seen some incredible penguins:
And there has been no shortage of crabeater and ross seals:
Last night we really got to see the Oden in action as it broke through floes of second year ice that were almost three meters thick.
And the people – interacting with the crew and scientists has been a once in a lifetime experience, here we are out on the helipad for our group photo yesterday.
But my honest answer about the most memorable aspect of the trip will have to be just staring out at the seemingly never ending ocean on our quest for Antarctica – and the indelible impact that has had on my perception...
Christmas Post 12-25-06
Christmas on the Oden
12-24-06** Special Coffeebreak 3pm on the mess deck
Christmas tree decoration under the watchful eye of Mattias to place the ornaments skillfully in an random order (entropy is the science word)
Traditional spiced hot "Glogg" (Gluehwein) was served and Swedish Christmas cookies
12-24-06** back to work for an hour….
Women onboard interpreted this as women sauna time. We met in sauna # 2 relaxing and trying to figure out what to wear for the special Christmas dinner.
12-24-06** Special Christmas dinner starting at 5 pm sharp! Attendance required- not a minute earlier or later
All dressed up we entered the mess deck to find it transformed into a beautiful fest hall....