Antarctica Dispatch

Journal of my Antarctic experience working to support the United States Antarctic Program.

Vessel Offload


Air Freight is by far the quickest means of getting things from one part of the world to the other. As far a volume goes, water transportation continues to be the cheapest. Once a year two important ships arrive at 'Winter Quarter's Bay' where Robert F. Scott first brought his ship the 'Discovery' - a fuel tanker (USNS Paul Buck) and a cargo ship (American Tern).

USNS Paul Buck at Winter Quarter's Bay

The whole reason we have icebreakers is to cut a path for these two important vessels to dock and unload. The US Navy sends down a battalion of support personnel to perform vessel offload. During this time all the bars shut down and safety is of the utmost concern. It's a 24 hour operation, and it's quite an 'orchestra' to watch.

American Tern at Winter Quarter's Bay - McMurdo Station in background


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