Popular Mechanics has published a very cool article entitled Voyage to the Top of the Earth (Almost) in which they follow the Canadian coast guard icebreaker Des Groseilliers as it heads through the North-West Passage into the the High Arctic to resupply a research station.
The ship is powered by six diesel/electric engines that generate more than 17,000 horsepower, as it pushes itself through ice as much as seven feet thick on it’s journey to the top of the World. It’s bow is designed to slice through the ice, while still withstanding incredible pressure and she can maintain a speed of three knots even while pushing through three feet of ice.
It’s a pretty amazing machine, and the eight members of the Eureka research team, the remote weather station the ship is sent to resupply, are happy it exists. The article is a fun read, and it’s interesting to see what the conditons are like above the Arctic Circle, even in the middle of Summer. The trip is not possible at any other time of the year.
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