Monday 30 March 2009

No more holes in the shipside!

Another week has commenced and all the yard workers came back this morning. We can happily announce that all the holes in the shipside are covered, both on deck 3 ad 5. A lot of welding has taken place to cover them. This week we will dedicate quite some time to computer maintenance, which means chaos when we want to work, and the technician "Frode" is blocking access as he needs to work on the servers. Fun! As the last picture portrays we need to be creative to get logistics onboard while in the yard. The crane we normally use to lower/hoist our tenderboats, has been converted to hoist food and engine spare parts. The steal construction to the right of the crane is the gangway provided from Astican.

Sunday 29 March 2009

Lights! Lights would be good here!

We have moved our tour all the way to Deck 7 today,where a very interesting piece of work is being done at the moment. We are innstalling new "ice-search lights". As MV FRAM operates most of the year in polar waters the ice search light is a very important tool for our navigators.
The spesifications of the search light is: The brand is Norselight 1600 W, and the light strenght is 60 000 Lumen, an average lightbulb has 500 Lumen. The range of the light is approx 7 km.

Sunday is a bit quiter day at the yard. The amount of yard workers onboard was a lot less today. But we are sure the spanish/italian invasion is back with full force tomorrow. Our engine boys were still going strong as the picture portrays.

Saturday 28 March 2009


Our guided MV FRAM hull tour continous, and the topic today is propellor. Very fascinating to see how large the propellors really are on the ship. The propellors are Azipull propellors. "Azipull" means the propellors pull the ship forward once in action. They can rotate 360 degrees. If we stop the ship and want to go astern, the propellors are turned 180 degrees. Our distinguished First Engineer Bjørn Jones (see picture) was kind enough to take off a couple of minutes in his very busy schedule to explain the function before we posted it.

Saturday in a shipyard is like any other working day, full throttle all day.

Friday 27 March 2009

Our Wings!

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If anyone are curious how the stabilizors looks like. Here it is! Although they are not fully extended on this picture, you can clearly see the dimension of them as our Hotelmanager Kjell was kind enough to pose underneath on the port side.
These airplane wing like construction on both port and starboard side, makes crossings of open sea stretches like the Drake Passage a lot more comfortable for all our passengers.
For the first time since we entered the drydock, it rained today. Refreshing actually! The work with the holes in the shipside is now progressing fast. The hole on deck 5 is already closed this afternoon. Inside the galley maintenance has just started, and that gives our galley staff some challenges as to "feeding" us all.

Thursday 26 March 2009

There are holes in the shipside

The work is well underway and 2 drastic holes in
the shipside is to be seen on deck 3 and one on deck 5
at the moment. It is not as dramatic as it looks, but
we are getting a steel replacement to the sections.
We start to see progress on the work inside as well,
flooring being changed in parts of the restaurant and
a distinct scent of paint can be smelled everywhere,
we have good ventilation and it goes away pretty quickly.

Wednesday 25 March 2009

Astican Shipyard - Las Palmas

Well here we are at the shipyard in Las Palmas. After a calm crossing of the Atlantic, the Spanish/Italian invasion was a fact yesterday the 24th of April. At 03:00 am we were at our final drydock position and at 07:00. No more water under the keel for a while. Masses of workers from the yard at Astican, and from the Italian ship builder Fincantieri came onboard. About 2 weeks of intense work has commenced. The Fram will be a polished lady outside and inside when the time at the yard is over, and we will keep you informed every step of the way. The picture today is taken by our Purser assistant Line.

Thursday 19 March 2009

Crossing the Equator

Yesterday at 07:13:27 local time (GMT-1) Fram crossed the Equator at 00*00'08'' N and 029*08'723'' W. In this very moment Fram had sailied a total of 139905.6 nautical miles since she left Fincantieri in Monfalcone 26.03.07.

This was the 4th crossing in 2 years and as tradition call we were visited by King Neptun and his lovely wife. All crew not able to put forward a valid certificate had to be baptized in order to satisfy the king. All in all 21 crew were caught by Neptunes police, examined by the doctor, recieved medication from the nurse, had a shave and a massage from the hair dresser and a nice wash by the bosun before they were found lawfull members of Neptunes kingdom.
Nice with a little break in the daily routine onboard. Ever since we bunkered in Montevideo we have seen nothing but sea and now and then another vessel in the distance.

Monday 9 March 2009

Last sight of shore for a while.....

When we woke up this morning we had a nice +20 C outside and at noon it reached +25 C. Not bad considering the +3 C we had when we left Ushuaia 4 days ago!! Unfortunately we had no time to enjoy it as we were all busy fixing, washing, cleaning, counting etc etc....

In the afternoon we entered the mouth of Rio de la Plata and started sailing up river towards Montevideo in Uruguay. (Some of the crew tried to convince Captain Rune to go slightly left towards Argentina and Buenos Aires instead but did not succeed.)

We arrived Zona de Servicio - as planned - right before 6pm and at 7pm the bunker vessel was alongside. Shortly after 10pm - after taking 300 cbm of MGO - we were ready to sail down the river again and to start our 15 days crossing of the Atlantic. Hopefully King Neptune will give us smooth sea and nice weather!

Friday 6 March 2009

Where is everybody??

Strange how quiet it suddenly is onboard after a hectic season with fully booked sailings!!! Guess it takes a few days for us to get used to having passengers onboard. We are going empty, non-stop, north towards Las Palmas where we will arrive on the 23rd this month. Well... perhaps not totally non-stop. In a few days we will take bunkers in Montevideo before we start to cross the Atlantic. Right now we are having Argentina on our port side and passing the beautyfull Falklands on our starboard.
After breakfast we all started to do all the things that still has to be done. The girls in the reception, Line and Tina, started packing down all the Antarctic stuff in order top make room for all the Greenlandic books and maps and movies in the expedition leaders office.
Right before lunch things went a bit out of hands and suddenly Line was wrapped up in a box and on her way to the store.
Ivar, our thoughtfull electrician, gave her chips and Kjell, our Hotel Manager, gave her chocolates before she was sent off!

Wednesday 4 March 2009

Ushuaia - End of Season

We arrived Ushuaia at 04:00 this morning and at 08:00 we had waved good-bye to the last group of guests. The last trip of our Antarctic season has come to an end!

It is allways sad to leave this end of the world. The sweet sound (and smell) of penguins, the whales, the light, everything that is so special and unique down here but at the same time we all look forward to return to the other end of the world; to the artic summer in Greenland all the friends we have made up there during the past two years.
Right now we are just waiting for the captains "Let go all lines" and we will head north for new exciting adventures. Stay tuned!

Drake Passage

Smooth sailing again. The Drake Passage looks almost as flat and calm as a bath tub! Climate Change became noticable onboard FRAM today: It is getting hotter and hotter!

Our Antarctic season is getting close to the end now. We were incredibly lucky with the weather, and we had great passengers throughout all our voyages. Thank you very much!

Monday 2 March 2009

Drake Passage

No landings today, however, time flew quickly with bridge visits, lectures and conversations in the bar and the observation lounge. Albatross, petrels and prions encircled the ship making it also worthwile to spend time on deck with your binoculars in hand.

Deception Island and Arctowski Station

Everybody looked a bit worried at the breakfast table: outside, the air was filled with snow flying past horizontally as we passed Neptunes Bellow, the narrow entrance into the chaldera of Deception Island. However, as if by a miracle, as soon as the first Polar Circle Boat hit the water, the sky was lifting, the wind calmed down and the sun came out! The dark volcanic mountain sides were still powdered with snow, and we spent a perfect morning at Whalers Bay at Deception Island.
In the evening, we landed at the Polish Research Base 'Arctowski'. Here we saw again all three species of penguins, the Chinstrap-, Gentoo- and Adelie penguins. Additionally, many Fur seals populated the beaches, and even some Elephant seals were hauled out! Arctowski was our last landing of the season in Antarctica. As we left, we took on board three Polish scientists who will accompany us to our final port of call in Ushuaia. We are pleased to close our season in giving a hand to those who conduct scientific research in the Antarctic!
The pictures of the day were taken by Sara Jean Stewart and Maria Schoenmaekers.

Sunday 1 March 2009

Petermann Island and Port Lockroy

Those passengers and staff who were up just after sunrise were rewarded by a magnificent passage through the Lemaire Channel. The later in the morning, we visitedPetermann Island and here in front of our landing site, a Leopard seal enjoyed seven Gentoo penguins for brunch! We returned to the FRAM and enjoyed our lunch as we headed for our afternoon landing at Port Lockroy.
There, the penguins are everywhere right now. Unimpressed by visitors, they stand in the middle of the path from the landing site up to the southernmost post office in the world, making everybody walking a penguin slalom. At the post office, we learned that the last ship of the season which was to take out the mail has been cancelled. As a result, our mail is going to stay in Antarctica until next November, and it will arrive around next Christmas!

The pictures of the day were taken by Michael Mittmann and Daniel Blundell.