Category Archives: antarctica

New Seascapes – Nuove Marine

I added several new seascapes made by Lady Lazer_One. Here below one of the most exiting one.

Ho aggiunto diverse nuove marine disegnate da Lady Lazer_One. Ecco una delle più emozionanti.

Race – Regata


Soya: from a cargo to an Antarctic vessel – da cargo a nave antartica

Soya is a japanese museum ship (by Tokyo Maritime museum) that previously served as icebreaker and was the first Japanese ship used for an Antarctic expedition.

Soya è un rompighiaccio oggi musealizzato al Museo Marittimo di Tokyo che fu utilizzato per la prima spedizione Giapponese in Antartide.

The vessel that became the Japanese icebreaker Sōya was originally ordered from the Matsuo shipyard Koyagi Island by the Soviet Union. She was launched from the shipyard February 1938 as Volochaevetz but she was never handed over due to political tensions between Japan and Soviet Union.

L’unità che divenne il rompighiaccio giapponese Soya era stato originariamente ordinato al cantiere Matsuo – Koyagi Island dall’Unione Sovietica. Varata nel 1938 come Volochavetz non fu però mai consegnata a causa della crescente tensione tra i due stati.

MV Soya (Volochaevetz) as in 1938

Completed as an ice-breaking cargo freighter she was renamed Chiryō Maru until Nov. 1939 when she was requisitioned by IJN and she got the name Soya with assigned duties as auxiliary ammunition ship/survey vessel.

Completato come cargo rompighiaccio fu chiamata Chiryō Maru  fino al novembre 1939 quando venne requisita dalla Marina Imperiale Giapponese: le venne dato il nome Soya e venne destinata al servizio di nave da trasporto munizioni e di sorveglianza.

Ammunition ship Soya as in 1941

After the war she served as a repatriation ship and then as a lighthouse supply ship until 1956 when she was overhauled and modified to make her ready for Antarctic research.

Alla fine della guerra fu utilizzata per il rimpatrio dei prigionieri giapponesi e successivamente come nave-faro fino al 1956 quando fu completamente modificata per essere utilizzata come nave da ricerca in Antartide.

Japan - AGB Soya as in 1956

On the second trip, in 1958, she rescued the explorers from the first expedition who had become stranded at the Syowa research station. Unfortunately they had to leave the expedition’s dogs behind. On Soya’s return a year later, two of the dogs, Taro and Jiro were found alive. This event inspired the Disney’s movie “Eight Below”.  A larger helideck was added in 1959.

Nel suo secondo viaggio, nel 1958, recuperò gli esploratori della prima spedizione bloccati alla stazione Syowa, abbandonando però i cani della spedizione al loro destino. L’anno successivo vennero ritrovati sorprendentemente vivi  due dei cani, Jiro a Taro. Questo episodio ispirò il film della Disney “Eight Below”. Nel 1959 venne ulteriormente modificata per realizzate un ponte elicotteri maggiore.

Japan - AGB Soya as in 1959

She was decommissioned in 1978, and in 1979 became a permanent exhibition at the Museum of Maritime Science, Tokyo.

Fu radiata nel 1978 e dal 1979 è stat musealizzata al Museo Marittimo di Tokyo.

Season Greatings

Airships: a new section added

The Italian also experimented with airships.  Unlike most of the other countries who were flying airships, the Italians preferred to make use of semi-rigid designs.  During World War I, they had operated seven larger ships, and 12 smaller designs.  After the war the surviving airships were redesigned for passenger service.  Experiments using mooring masts were carried out, and several small and medium-sized models were built for foreign customers, including Japan.  As part of the compensation for war reparations from Germany, Italy received two rigid airships.  These ships, were used by the military, and also pulled some passenger duty before being scrapped.  After this, the Italian interest returned to the semi-rigids.

Umberto Nobile,an Italian  aeronautical engineer was a developer and promoter of semi-rigid airships during the Golden Age between the two World Wars. He is primarily remembered for designing and piloting the airship Norge, which may have been the first aircraft to reach the North Pole, and which was indisputably the first to fly across the polar ice cap from Europe to America.

Airship N1 Norge

Nobile also designed and flew the Italia, a second polar airship; this second expedition ended in a deadly crash and provoked an international rescue effort.

Airship N4 Italia

SV L’Astrolabe


The L’Astrolabe is the French 65 meter multi purpose supply vessel used to support the French Southern and Antarctic Territories. Her home port is Brest but shes’s normally based in Hobart (Tasmania) from where sails toward South from end October till March in order to transport materials and persons.

Built in Canada, launched in 1986 as “Fort Resolution” and later renamed “Austral Fish”  was a typical Supply vessel for offshore works. 

Canada - SV Fort Resolution

Canada - SV Austral Fish

in 1988 was acquired by the French company FISH and modified in order to become the support vessel for french operation in Antarctica: closed cargo area was added with the helideck on top as well  accomodations for 50 passengers. Actually is managed by P&O.

France - SV L'Astrolabe (FISH)

France - SV L'Astrolabe

Fatal helicopter crash in Antartcica

The AS350 Squirrel helicopter went missing on October 29 after taking off from the French research ship Astrolabe, carrying a pilot, a mechanic and two staff from the Dumont d’Urville French Antarctic research base. Australian and US air force planes have spotted three bodies and debris strewn 150m around the site of the crash of helicopter in Antarctica.
The helicopter, flying in poor visibility and rough weather was carrying staff and supplies between the French research vessel and supply ship, l’Astrolabe and the country’s Dumont d’Urville research base in Adélie Land, in south-east Antarctica. The US and Australian planes picked up a distress beacon signal, and flyovers over the zone – the planes also dropped survival equipment at the site. Meanwhile l’Astrolabe and an Australian ice-breaker, the Aurora Australis, are making their way to the scene .
On October 30 better weather, allowed a helicopter and rescue team from the Dumont d’Urville to take off at 12:45 local time (UTC +10h) and reach the crash site. The team found no survivors, and repatriated one body to the base, before a second flight repatriated the remaining three bodies. Aerial support for the rescue operation was provided by a Hercules C130 aircraft, dispatched to the zone by Australian authorities.
I flown several times from and to the L’Astrolabe’s helideck (shown also in the picture on top of my blog) and it is very difficult to add any comment.
Just few days ago I was checking the position of L’Atrolabe nearby Macquarie Island and I was thinking that the “2010 Rotations” were started… unfortunately very bad.

IBRV Araon

The RV Araon is a 6,950-ton icebreaker operated by the Government of South Korea, designed for operation in one-meter-thick-multiple-year ice condition (KR PL-10) with 3 knot speed per hour and will be equipped with twin Azimuth propulsion units driven by diesel-electric propulsion plant. She will accommodate up to 85 persons, including 25 crew members. The name is derived from Korean words “Ara” for Sea and “On” for All and represents a project to cruise around the world. She supplies the King Sejong Station  and will supply a South Korea’s second planned antartcic research station. She underwent her  sea trials in January 2010, in the Ross Sea.  Her first foreign port of call was Lyttelton, New Zealand, as shown in the picture (courtesy of Wayne A’Court – NZ)

South Korea - IBRV Araon