Archive for the ‘SA Aghulas’ Category

On their way…

Friday, December 26th, 2008

The SA Agulhas left Cape Town harbour on December 23 on her southbound voyage to Antarctica, bringing the summer researchers, support personnel, and the new overwintering team (SANAE 48).  We will be training them and handing over duties during January and February, so that they can take the expedition forward for another year.

You can keep track of the progress of the Agulhas – now just entering the Roaring Forties – by clicking on the link in the sidebar labelled ‘Track the SA Agulhas’.  In January she should reach the German Station, Neumayer, then move to Blaskimen Butka to the east to offload fuel before a bouy run to the South Sandwich Islands and South Georgia.  She then returns to Antarctica to backload all the cargo and waste from SANAE, as well as us, before sailing to South Africa in March.  Using the link, you can zoom and pan the map to see exactly where she has been, the weather and sea conditions, etc.

My contacts (spies!) aboard the ship tell me that they sailed intto 5m swells directly after leaviing the Cape, keeping the new doctor very busy with sea-sick patients!  The Agulhas’s ice-strengthened round hull makes her quite susceptible to roll, and they have to navigate a set transect for the oceanographic research, so it must have been hell for those prone to motion sickness… and the Forties and Fifties still await!  Fortunately, ice conditions this year are much lighter than the last.  You can read an interesting and informative summary on the ice conditons by Ian Hunter of the SA Weather Service here.

Open day a great success

Saturday, July 26th, 2008

The Open Day at SANAP headquarters in Cape Town today was an unqualified success, with early figures estimating that more than 600 people including many children took part.  The event, managed by the MTN Sciencentre as part of ‘Antarctica Month’, featured interactive and static displays, science-themed activities for participants through the age spectrum, a live broadcast from Bush Radio, and the very popular tours of the SA Agulhas.  We were also there – virtually – via a video-conferencing setup, allowing the team here at SANAE to answer questions and talk to Open Day participants from all walks of life.  We also had a camera connected to give a live feed of the area outside the base, and a direct weather feed.

The ever-popular Saziso chatting via video-linkup.

Open Day at SANAP and on SA Agulhas

Thursday, July 24th, 2008

For those who are in the Cape this weekend – there will be an open day at the SANAP headquarters on the East Pier, V&A Waterfront, on Saturday (26 July) from 09h00 to 15h00.  There will be static and interactive displays, science-themed puzzles for adults and children alike, and the opportunity to have guided tours of our Antarctic Research ship, the SA Agulhas.

I attended this function last year and thoroughly enjoyed it along with about 600 other visitors who braved the pouring rain.  If you’re interested in Antarctica or even just want to check out a cool ship, pop on down.

We will have a live link-up to the open day, so you can even chat to us directly while enjoying the show.

Map below should help you find it: