Browsing: Antarctic

Cruising Life
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Humpback Whales Enjoying Baby Boom in the Antarctic

Here’s some good news: Humpback whales are making a comeback in the Antarctic; in fact, they’re enjoying something of a baby boom. A new study under Ari Friedlaender of the University of California at Santa Cruz reports that female humpback whales are having higher pregnancy rates and giving birth to more calves in recent years than previously. The whales were almost hunted out of existence in the late 19thcentury and for most of the 20thcentury, until international treaties were signed to protect them. The whales, which grow to the size of a school bus, have life spans similar to ours.…

Cruising Life
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New Team Will Search for Ernest Shackleton’s Endurance, which Sank in the Antarctic in 1915, Setting Off Heroic Rescue

The saga of Ernest Shackleton and how he saved the crew of the polar explorer ship Endurance after it was trapped in ice in the Antarctic has gone down as one of the greatest sea stories of all time. After the 144-foot-long ship sank on Nov. 21, 1915, Shackleton and his 27-man crew spent weeks on the ice, hoping to drift to safety. When they finally realized that wasn’t going to happen, they climbed on three open lifeboats and spent five days, with temperatures reaching 20 below, sailing and rowing before they reached Elephant Island, where at least they were on firm…

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Aging Coast Guard Icebreaker Suffers Engine Failure, Flooding, in the Antarctic

The Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star, the only heavy icebreaker in America’s fleet, suffered an engine failure and flooding in a recent mission in the Antarctic. The crew was able to shut down the engine that failed and separately solve the flooding, but the two incidents point out the mechanical problems involved in maintaining the 399-foot-long ship that was commissioned in 1976. The Polar Star’s mission was to deliver fuel and supplies to National Science Foundation research stations in the Antarctic, involving cutting a path through ice in the Ross Sea that was up to 10-feet thick. The crew had…