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Victoria University Antarctic Research Expedition Science and Logistics Reports 1991-92: VUWAE 36

8. Event Routes

8. Event Routes

The helo sea ice reconn flight was Invaluable when planning the vehicle route to Granite Harbour.

We had no major difficulties with the sea ice route and generally surface travel conditions were good. We crossed a crack (0.6m wide) trending east from Cape Bernacchi on route to Granite Harbour (21 November) without any problems. This crack was only 1 -2 days old and continued to widen during the 12 days we were in Granite Harbour. This crack was crossed easily about 1 km offshore off Cape Bernacchi where it split and was only 0.5 m wide on the return journey (4 December). Another crack was crossed between the north end of Dunlop Island and Cape Dunlop going to Granite Harbour (21 November). This crack had widened on our return journey but a crossing place was found and T.REX crossed successfully. The crossing poing however was not suitable for the D5 and it crossed on a better area about 4 km offshore off Dunlop Island. A crack was also present trending southeast from the Stranded Moraines and this was also crossed at a suitable site without difficulty on the journey to Blue Glacier.

The sea ice in Granite Harbour was in very good condition with the normal pattern of cracks acoused by the Mackay Glacier Tongue. The ice in the Harbour would have remained suitable for surface travel well into mid December.

We believe that it would be feasible to work on Granite Harbour sea ice well into mid December if heavy vehicles could be wintered at Cape Roberts so that they did not have to make the return journey along the coast after early December.