RV Noosfera arrived at the port of Cape Town – her third Antarctic season has ended

RV Noosfera arrived at the port of Cape Town – her third Antarctic season has ended

The Ukrainian research vessel Noosfera has completed her third Antarctic season. Late in the evening of May 8, 2024, she docked at the port of Cape Town (South Africa).

This was Noosphere’s longest Antarctic season with the largest scientific program. It began on November 17, 2023 along the route Cape Town – King George Island (Arctowski Polish Antarctic station) – Galindez Island (Ukrainian Antarctic Akademik Vernadsky station)

The icebreaker delivered cargo and expedition members, including a detachment of technical specialists for Vernadsky modernization. Then she arrived at the port of Punta Arenas (Chile).

The captain of this voyage was Oleksandr Hryshko.

The vessel left for Antarctica again on March 15, 2024. On board was the team of the annual 29th Ukrainian Antarctic Expedition, cargo for its wintering, as well as scientists of the seasonal expedition from Ukraine and other countries.

The captain of this voyage was Pavlo Panasyuk.

It was in this part – on the way to Vernadsky, in the area of the station and on the way back – that a lot of research was carried out from the RV Noosfera.

In particular:

● samples of bottom sediments were collected to continue studying the geological history of the Earth, primarily climate change;
● samples of marine fauna from the bottom of the Southern Ocean were collected for the first time (in collaboration with Polish colleagues);
● unique research material was collected to study the acoustic communication of rare whales – Arnoux’s beaked whales;
● samples of krill and phytoplankton were collected for an important international study on the distribution of silicones in Antarctica;
● interesting samples from the point of view of comparative research were selected from isolated populations of freshwater invertebrates and vascular plants, as well as rocks from Deception Island and Christine Island, Arthur Harbour.

Noosfera has arrived again in Chile on April 13, delivering there the participants of the annual 28th UAE and the seasonal expedition. During this passage, the icebreaker had to overcome a strong storm in the Drake Passage with wave height of up to 10 m and wind speed of up to 35 m/s.

Consequently, the ship once again went to Antarctica – to King George Island for the rotation of polar explorers at Arctowski Polish Antarctic station. From there, Noosfera headed for Cape Town, where she has successfully arrived yesterday.

As last time, this expedition of Noosfera was a joint Ukrainian-Polish one and was partially financed by the Polish Antarctic Program.

“Even in the conditions of a full-scale war, we not only support, but also develop the activities of our research flagship. This time we have logistics support, international cooperation, and the largest research program. With a smile, I remember the words of skeptics about “a rusty trough docking in the port.” The RV Noosfera worked brilliantly in the third Antarctic season, for which I am grateful to both of its crews,” note NASC Director Evgen Dykyi.

The vessel will remain in the port of Cape Town until the next Antarctic season. The return of Noosfera to Ukraine is planned after the end of the full-scale invasion of Russian Federation.