Thursday, February 10, 2011

Antarctica, The Zodiac Difference


One of the unique things about visiting Antarctica on a ship like the Akademik Ioffe is the ability to actually land on the continent. Zodiacs make this possible.



Anchored Ioffe Akademik Ioffe In Antarctica



Loaded Zodiac Regular cruise ships also visit the Antarctic region in season but they are often limited in their ability to put passengers ashore.




Zodiacs allow passengers to be taken to locations not accessible by other types of vessels. Our landings at Yankee Harbor and Half Moon Bay gives us a good exposure to zodiac operations.



Ioffe Zodiac On the Ioffe the zodiacs are stored on the stern (back) of the ship and they are placed in the water ahead of us lining up in the queue.





Ioffe Gangway Boarding is done via a gangway on the right side of the ship after the zodiac is carefully secured in place.





For safety reasons, there is a minimum amount of standing in the zodiac and most movement is done with a butt slide. A fully loaded zodiac can become quite cozy.



Feet To Rear Leaving Half Moon Bay we enter the zodiac by sitting on the edge and swinging  both feet towards the engine.






Zodiac Butt Slide Then it's backpacks off and do the butt slide.






With calm seas it's a fast ride back to the Ioffe where we are unloaded one at a time with backpacks on and both hands free. Only three passengers are allowed on the gangway at a time.



Decontamination SolutionDecontamination Solution Tray



Once back on board it's a quick decontamination of our boots and any other items that may have come in contact with the continent during our landing.

Then we re-enter the Mud Room where another important step is suppose to be completed.



Akademik Tag Board A visit to the Akademik Ioffe Tag Board.

Here, we must turn our own tag so that the crew is aware of our status.

Green on board, Red still ashore.



Announcements are made not by name but in general for those who have forgotten to turn their tags. I think these will become less frequent as we all get accustomed to the process.

A procedure in place to make sure “No Adult Get Left Behind”.




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