I joined the RRS Ernest Shackleton for the escort of MV Crystal Serenity from Ulukhaktok (Holman) NWT to Greenland in Aug-Sep 2016. Shackleton, a Type A icebreaker under Canadian rules, usually provides logistic support to 5 scientific bases of the British Antarctic Survey (in Antarctica). During the southern winter she is available for charter to industry in the northern hemisphere. Thus she was engaged to provide logistic and expedition support to the MV Crystal Serenity during that vessel’s historic transit of the Northwest Passage. Shackleton embarked 15 zodiac-type boats for the voyage, as well as two Eurocopter AS-350 (“A-Star”) helicopters. She also carried about 30 supplementary expedition staff – ice-navigators, boat drivers, pilots, divers and photographers, naturalists and Inuit guides. Shackleton also carried additional damage-control gear and a pollution control boom for contingency response, as well as providing critical ship-to-shore logistic support to Serenity with her landing craft. Shackleton sailed from St John’s NL to meet Serenity on the west side of Victoria Island and then escort her back to Greenland waters, transiting the narrow passage of Bellot Strait both ways, and paying visits to the communities of Ulukhaktok NWT, Cambridge Bay and Pond Inlet Nunavut, as well as Ilulissat and Sisimiut in Greenland.
NWP 2016 with RRS Ernest Shackleton Nigel Greenwood