The research vessel "Admiral Vladimirsky" with the participants of the Round-the-world Oceanographic Expedition on board specified the coordinates and size of Peter I Island off the coast of Antarctica. The next goal is to locate the Earth’s south magnetic pole. The crew hopes that the coronavirus pandemic will not affect the schedule of the expedition.
The expedition of the Hydrographic Service of the Russian Navy and the Russian Geographical Society is dedicated to the 200th anniversary of the discovery of Antarctica by Russian sailors Thaddeus Bellingshausen and Mikhail Lazarev, as well as to the 250th birthday anniversary of Admiral Ivan Kruzenshtern. The expedition route largely follows the path of the ships of Bellingshausen and Lazarev. On the "Admiral Vladimirsky" oceanographic research vessel, the participants of the round-the-world expedition passed through the Baltic and North Seas, crossed the Atlantic Ocean and are now conducting research in the Antarctic waters. After working in the Antarctic, the ship will return home through the Indian Ocean, the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean Sea. The voyage will end on June 6th, 2020, in Kronstadt. The distance covered will be about 40 thousand miles.
On March 23rd, the "Admiral Vladimirsky" vessel approached Peter I Island. The day before, the temperature dropped below -2°C, the first snow fell on deck. In their spare time, the crew played snowballs, and made several snowmen and a snow mermaid. After a short respite, the researchers again faced the serious task of determining the exact coordinates and dimensions of the island.
"The notes on the navigational charts say that the actual location of Peter I Island is farther south than indicated on the maps. And it is really shifted south," said the expedition leader, captain Oleg Osipov. “We tried to determine the correct configuration and size of the island, to take pictures of the main characteristic capes and glaciers for posting photos in the sailing directions. According to the preliminary data, the size of the island is 6.1 by 9.9 miles. Unfortunately, the weather was bad. The wind reached 20 meters per second, it was snowing , so it was not possible to check the height of the island. The top was in the clouds. "
Now the ship will continue moving towards the south magnetic pole of the Earth. One of the goals of the expedition is to determine its exact location.
“We will also determine the coordinates of Scott Island and, if time permits, the Balleny Islands. We will move as close to the edge of the drifting ice as possible in order to obtain new bathymetric data on the bottom topography,” Oleg Osipov added.
Interestingly, the "Admiral Vladimirsky’s" crew calendar will not have one day, presumably April 2nd.
"There is the International Date Line. It runs along the meridian of 180° longitude. On one side is one date, on the other it is another. If the ship was moving from west to east, then when crossing the International Date Line we would be back on the same day, it would be two days of the same date. Since the "Admiral Vladimirsky" is moving from east to west, we won’t have one day. On about April 2nd we will be at the International Date Line, and, accordingly, this day will be absent from our calender, " Oleg Osipov said.
At the moment, the "Admiral Vladimirsky’s" crew does not yet have information on whether the coronavirus pandemic will affect the schedule of the ship to enter ports along the route. Right now, the crew isolated on the ship is safe.
"Fortunately, the only living creatures we manage to have contact with are penguins and whales that are not susceptible to coronavirus disease. But the crew has been given personal hygiene rules, which is the main means of combating coronavirus. We are also being observed a by the ship’s medical staff," said Oleg Osipov.
The oceanographic research vessel "Admiral Vladimirsky" was built in 1975 in Szczecin, Poland. It was originally part of the 176th separate division of oceanographic research vessels, based in Sevastopol. Now the ship is part of the Baltic Fleet. The displacement of the vessel is 9120 tons, the length - 147.8 meters, the width - 18.6 meters, the draft - 6.4 meters. Cruising range - 18 thousand miles at 15 knots, crew - 170 people.