Friday, December 17, 2010

Yacht Crashes on Return from Antarctica

Seems this month has been extra wild in the Southern Ocean or at least the news coverage has been more extensive with there not being major whale wars news this season (or at least little coverage of it). First there was the tourist ship that had to limp pack to Ushuaia. Then earlier this week there was the sinking of a fishing vessel. Now there is an article about a yacht crashing earlier this week as well.

The yacht was on its way back from the Antarctic when the yacht lost power on Monday, December 13, 2010. The yacht was able to get to an Argentine bay, but the mast was broke here along with their line snapping. This caused the captain and his brother to be tossed overboard where they died in the cold water. The rest of the crew of 5 made it to shore and were rescued on Tuesday.

Fastest Vehicle Crossing of Antarctica

Recently the fastest crossing of Antarctica with a vehicle record was made. The crossing took 303 hours and covered about 1,950 kilometers. The Moon Reagan Transantarctic expedition went from Union Glacier to the Ross Ice Shelf via the South Pole. They reached the Ross Ice Shelf on December 9, 2010. The expedition then turned around to return to the Union Glacier starting point. The return journey is expected to take nine days and if successful it will be the first time that a vehicle expedition did a there and back crossing of the Antarctic continent. To make it even more historically significant the expedition is using a bio-fuel vehicle.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Video Game to Feature Antarctica: SSX Deadly Descents

Just read this article about a new SSX snowboarding game coming out next winter. Not much info on it, yet, as it is a while before it is coming out and it seems the game being made is relatively new news. One of the few details, though, is that it will include some extreme locations to snowboard through in the game including Antarctica.

I sometimes like snowboarding games, so this might be interesting, but I doubt I will try it because I do not appreciate it being only for Xbox 360 and PS3 and not at all for the Wii. Only snowboarding game I liked recently was the Shaun White one for the Wii that lets you use the balance board, so not likely to want to put up with the learning curve I cannot handle despite many attempts of trying to play video games with the damn complicated PS3 or Xbox 360 controllers.

22 Fishermen Died When South Korean Fishing Boat Sank Monday

This Monday, December 13, 2010, 22 fishermen died when the South Korean fishing vessel they were on sank off of Antarctica. I did not realize fishing was allowed off of Antarctica other than for research, but it seems that there is a period that began on December 1 that allows for fishing. Although, it is possible they were fishing illegally still, as some species are still protected and illegally fished for poaching profit reasons. Totally unclear about what they were doing and even what happened to cause the boat to sink, as there was not even time for them to send out a distress signal. Luckily, though, there were other nearby fishing vessels and some of the crew (20) was picked up and survived. 5 were found dead and 17 are presumed dead after a search went on for them, as there is little likelihood of them being able to survive more than 10 minutes in the cold waters of the Southern Ocean.

Further Reading on this in this article.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Antarctic Cruise Safely Returns to Ushuaia After Wave Damage

Seems every year there is some news about a cruise ship that reaffirms that the seas are rough and the Antarctic is still as adventurous and unpredictable an environment as ever. This week it has been about an Antarctic cruise ship damaged by a large wave that broke the window to the bridge and caused water damage to communications and radar. The cruise was on its way to Antarctica and had to turn around and limp (or whatever ships do) back because it could not use all its engines. Everyone onboard is safe other than some bruises and black eyes caused when the ship moved unexpectedly in the rough seas, although I imagine that happens to at least a few on almost every Antarctic voyage.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Suite Life on Deck "Frozen" Episode Review

I had been looking forward to the "Frozen" episode of Suite Life on Deck ever since I heard about it in October. Short version: It was a big disappointment. Long version: The episode does have parts with the twins and Woody in Antarctica, but it is so vague and lame. It is pretty much just them stuck in a blizzard in this one little remote research camp room and thinking that the researcher stole their snow mobile and they are stuck there with no food. Turns out the researcher just went to get them bagels from a nearby base. It is pretty much just the teens freaking out and nothing happening. Total disappointment and not even any penguins and barely even mention of actual Antarctic style research. At least there is not polar bears, but there is a silly thing about a possible yeti kind of monster.