I will be traveling to Mawson station in Antarctica aboard the ice breaker Aurora Australis.
This purpose built vessel was built in 1990 and is owned and operated by P&O Maritime Services and is leased to the Australian Antarctic Division for it's Antarctic resupply, crew change and science programs. I believe the ship is now approaching the end of it's service life and will be replaced some time in the next five years. It's takes about 12 days sailing to get from Hobart to Davis station and the resupply will take about 8 days. It will then be a further 4 days sailing to reach Mawson station. On the extraction it should take about 12 days to sail from Mawson station back to Hobart if the weather is favorable. Shipping and resupply in Antarctica is very hit and miss due to the weather and the sea ice conditions. Resupply at Davis station will probably be done about two kilometers from shore unless the sea ice breaks up completely, using a two kilometer fuel line and helicopters while at Mawson hopefully the harbor will be completely free of sea ice and the ship will be able to moor withing the harbor and fuel resupply will be done with a short fuel line and boats will be used for cargo and personnel transfers.
TYPE: Polar Research and Supply Vessel
LOA / BEAM / DRAFT: 94.91m / 20.3m / 7.9m
GRT: 6574 tonnes
DWT: 3893 tonnes
Endurance - 25,000 nautical miles / 90 days
Speed & Fuel consumption
Max: 16 knots / 37 tonne per day
Economical: 11 knots / 18 tonne per day
Port: 2 tonne per day
Bunkers - 1.10 Mega litres of cargo fuel with
a transfer rate of 40 k litres per hour.
Capable of operating, refuelling and housing 2 x Sikorsky
S76 or Bell Long Range helicopters. Aviation refuelling
system of 120 cubic metre capacity. NDB and DME fitted.
Total 140 persons including: 24 x crew and 116 passengers in
one, two, three and four berth cabins. All cabins with private
facilities. Two bed hospital with full operating theatre.