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Friday, January 21, 2011

Xue Long (Snow Dragon)

The Xue Long (Snow Dragon) is the Chinese Antarctic research vessel. Classified as a A2 class ice breaker (capable of breaking ice 1.2 metres thick), Xue Long was built at the Kherson Shipyard, Ukraine, in 1993, and originally conceived for cargo transportation in the Arctic. It was purchased by China shortly after its commissioning and modified slightly to turn it into a polar research vessel.With a length of 167 metres, a beam of 22.6 metres and a draft of 9 metres with 21,250 tons fully loaded, Xue Long is currently the largest ice-breaker operating in Antarctic waters. It is capable of sailing at 17.9 knots in open water, although its normal speed when fully loaded is closer to 13 knots.She is taking 170 quarter height containers that we filled with contaminated soils from a disused tip which closed back in the early 80's. The contaminated soils will be disposed of back in Australia in accordance with strick guidelines for such disposal. We were afforded the pleasure of a comprehensive tour of the vessel by the crew. Man, it is some piece of work. It includes a swimming pool, sauna,basket ball court, bar, lifts, and gym to name but a few of its creature comforts. Oh yes, it also sports a helicopter in a rear hanger.We were treated to their own beer called Antarktik which is very nice. We start to load her tommorrow....!

For more shots of the Xue Long go to:

See also Australia's Ice Breaker the Aurora Australis

Looking to purchase an Antarctic Image. Prints,Framed Prints,Canvas, and Acrylics at my online store Rockin' Horse Photography

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