12-26-06

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 ship through the ice. Each of the men is 4 hours on watch and 8 hours off and 4 hours on and… You get the picture. If a special situation arises captain Tomas Arnell is called to the bridge. Most of the time Captain Tomas Arnell seems to have a feeling for situations. He can read the ships sounds and vibrations and shows up without being called.

Captain Tomas Arnell- a great man and Captain!

Captain II, Mattias Peterson - outstanding :)

Ola Andersson - super good friend and officer

Lars Grundberg - excellent!

All men have many years of icebreaking experience and outstanding navigation skills. Earlier during the cruise we went through leads (navigable openings) in the pack ice. How? Ola Andersson explained that the radar helps themwith the decision making. Finding the cracks in the ice, following leads, avoiding heavier ice and finding the shortest cuts is the goal when navigating the ship through ice, interpreting and analyzing changing situations constantly. "You change quite often your mind in which direction to go. You cannot be stubborn", first officer Ola Andersson explained. Especially under bad weather conditions with snow and limited visibility is itdifficult to determine which way to go. Watching the men driving the ship, calculating the curse, working with computers, GPS and radar screens I was wondering what they do in their freetime at home in Sweden. It seems they try to avoid computers. First officer Ola Andersson has several businesses at home one of them is a Christmas tree farm. Captain Mattias Petersoncollects and restores cars mainly Porsche and Volkswagen.

We wish them success for breaking the channel to McMurdo through the heavy multiyear ice which can be more than 5 m (16 ft) thickat the pressure ridges.

*I like to thank Captain Tomas Arnell, Mattias, Ola and Lars for sharing many hours with me explaining patiently what they do (and a bit more) during my duty as ice observer for UT San Antonio, TX,on the bridge of the Oden. *U. Kaden

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