27 Aug '11, 10am

BBC: 2 Arctic routes open as ice retreats: More @dotearth on "boring" nature of Arctic shipping:

BBC: 2 Arctic routes open as ice retreats: More @dotearth on "boring" nature of Arctic shipping:

Beluga Group As the Beluga Fraternity entered Arctic waters, the crew kept track of ice floes. More than halfway through a rare trans-Arctic commercial voyage , two German heavy-lift ships carrying power-plant components from South Korea to a Siberian port were scheduled today to pass the northernmost point on their route, the Vilkitsky Strait . The ships have been encountering small icebergs and rafts of sea ice since they passed through the Bering Strait last weekend, company officials say. But they are being escorted by the Russian nuclear-powered icebreaker 50 Years Since Victory to limit risk and also have Russian pilots aboard. Excerpts from the Sept. 3 log entries of the two German vessels, the Beluga Fraternity and Beluga Foresight, are appended below. The ships could reach Novyi Port , where the equipment would be unloaded, by Sunday or Monday. They would then con...

Full article: http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/tag/arcship/

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