Australian Antarctic supply ship Aurora Australis blocked by ice again

Due back in Hobart tomorrow 16 November 2013 the ships webcam at 6am on 15 Nov 13 shows it is heading SSW on the voyage from Davis base to Hobart.

The latest sitrep can be read here –

We have made slow progress over the last 24 hours due to pack ice conditions. This morning the ship was stopped and a decision made to wait for improving ice conditions (which is anticipated) rather than continuing breaking of ice at a snail’s pace consuming significant volumes of fuel. The situation will be assessed over the next 12 hours.

Cheers Tony and Mike

They were icebound on 31st October on the way to Davis – also icebound in 2012.

Maybe global warming is worse than we thought.

13 thoughts on “Australian Antarctic supply ship Aurora Australis blocked by ice again”

  1. This morning the ship was stopped and a decision made to wait for improving ice conditions (which is anticipated)

    I wonder if that is ‘anticipated’ due to the weather forecast or GW theory.

    Looking at the synoptic chart, it does look like winds will shift from onshore to offshore for a couple of days.

  2. The latest webcam pic Saturday at 5am showing the ship still positioned at 66 South but moving and heading NE. Better than SW. So I assume they are making progress towards Hobart.
    Maps not showing much progress yet – 5.33pm EST Saturday.
    Sunday update 9am – 4hrs ago the ship was heading west – still looks obstructed – position unchanged on AAD map around 65 South.

  3. I notice this NSW Govt Statewater site has both dams holding about 200GL now.
    If you make Drought maps for NSW at this BoM site you see there are only small areas in drought for periods of 12, 9 & 6 months – but a larger area for 3 months, mainly in the NE.
    If you look at rain anomalies for November – month to date – you see coastal areas have done well. The map is not detailed enough to see if some of the rain has impacted on the Windamere catchment – but data from the dam indicates a gain of 2GL over the last 30 days.
    BoM 3 month rain Outlooks 1 July to 30 Sept and 1 Aug to 31 Oct – have been far too wet compared to actual rain. I hope NSW State water planners do not get suckered into placing too much faith in the BoM Outlooks – which are basically useless.
    Interesting situation to watch as the months go by – see how Windamere levels fare.

  4. The ship is still locked in ice as of 8.30am 21 Nov – been there a week now –
    but silence from the ABC and AAD.
    Added 22nd: Still locked in ice at 66° South as of 1.30pm – over a week now.
    Added 23rd:As of 2.30pm Sat 23 Nov 2013 they had an aircraft from Davis doing a recce looking for clear leads.

  5. Thank you. Will keep an eye out for any info.

    And Ole jack Frost isn’t ready to let go yet in the land where we were supposed to notice global warming first.

  6. Mr Hughes

    If you understood the fickleness of Antarctica and of sea ice you’d have a more sensible comment. Ships encountering difficulties in sea ice is nothing new.

    Not sure what your expertise is but i’s clear that it has nothing to do with the current subject.

    And why insert the ABC into your view? As far as I’m aware the ABC doesn’t manage Australia’s Antarctic matters. Perhaps you have more information than the rest of us. If so, maybe you could enlighten us all.

    Gina Harris

  7. ABC are a government funded media organization, that reports on many things to do with government, except when they don’t, such as when their global warming agenda doesn’t suit, such as a Government funded ship stuck fast in ice for 9 days, in Antarctic waters surrounded by a record amount of ice. Not news? Hardly … It’s big news to me, but I had to come here to see it reported.

  8. I see 9News is carrying the story now – not really an icebreaker – but better late than never –
    Australian icebreaker stuck in Antarctica –
    Satellite images show the Aurora surrounded by around 60 nautical miles of heavy sea-ice.

    Here is some info on the Basler aircraft that has been flying recce for them.
    A modified DC3 – turboprop engines. Those airframes must be indestructible.
    In the webcam today the ice looks heavier than in the previous week.
    But that’s global warming for ya.

  9. Antarctic ice is now exceptionally extensive, so much so that despite some remaining deficit in the Arctic, the total extent of global sea ice just hit its highest level since 1996; check the blue line here.

  10. They finally cleared the pack ice around 63 degrees south, i.e. 3000 kms from the pole. From their bulletins:

    [Yesterday] At 1800 local time yesterday we left the pack ice and into open water. We are now well on our way to Hobart. There was excitement on the bridge yesterday when we reached this milestone on our return voyage. We had been in the pack ice for 15 days. Tonight we will have a social occasion to celebrate our exit from the ice.

    [Today] During the evening Gerry was presented with a trophy for winning the latest darts competition and Chris for the best solution for getting us out of the ice. Chris’s solution and drawing prompted the question as to which planet he came from.

    Brave men, their families will be relieved and looking forward to seeing them.

  11. Agree Dave – after wintering down there the last thing you would need would be a two week delay getting back to family.
    I see they have 7 Dec for return to Hobart.

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