Finding the safe route
Built as an Ice Class Tanker, Maersk Peary is capable of going through newly formed ice of up to 0,6 meters thick. The ice that has been around for years, however, is much thicker and harder than the fresh ice. The older ice is also
bluer in colour compared to the fresh white ice, so this is just one of the elements that the crew needs to be on the look-out for.
"If you hit thick ice, chances are that it will puncture a hole, and then the ship could sink," Hatton says.
Explore the route of Maersk Peary
Maersk Peary is 591-foot-long and can carry up to 11.4 million gallons of fuel with 20 crew and 2 cadets onboard. It has a 15,000 horse power engine to drive the vessel through the ice.
When not travelling to the extreme Polar Regions, Maersk Peary can be found servicing US military installations in various locations around the world. Maersk Peary was named after Admiral Robert E. Peary - the first person to discover
the North Pole in 1909.
The Southern Ocean is inaccessible for some 10 months of the year, and only during the summer season of mid-January to mid-March are ships able to navigate it safely. Even during summer, the crew has to stay alert at all times
Two weeks after departing Freemantle in Australia, Captain Everett M. Hatton manoeuvres the Maersk Peary into the floating ice berth and has his crew fire the heaving lines onto the shore to assist in securing the vessel.
After having dropped off fuel and supplies for the McMurdo Base, Maersk Peary continues up to New Zealand where crew and vessel prepare for a new mission. Maersk Peary and Captain Hatton are always ready for another trip through the ice down to Antarctica.