Explorers reach Mawson’s Huts in Antarctica

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Posted on December 20, 2013
File photo of Commonwealth Bay, in the Australian Antarctic Territory, where two Australian explorers have battled dangerous sea

File photo of Commonwealth Bay, in the Australian Antarctic Territory, where two Australian explorers have battled dangerous sea ice to reach the historic Mawson’s Huts,which have been isolated for years by a giant iceberg blocking the route in
Two Australian explorers have battled dangerous sea ice to reach the historic Mawson’s Huts in Antarctica which have been isolated for years by a giant iceberg blocking the route in, officials said Friday.

The huts, in the eastern sector of the Australian Antarctic Territory, some 3,000 kilometres south of Hobart, were erected and occupied by the Australian Antarctic Expedition of 1911-1914 led by explorer Sir Douglas Mawson.

Conservator Ian Godfrey and heritage carpenter Jon Tucker navigated 70 kilometres (43 miles) of sea ice during a five-hour journey on an amphibious vehicle to reach the buildings on Thursday after leaving their ship.

“This has been planned for six months and was the trip of a lifetime. These vehicles travel at speeds up to 20 kilometres per hour but we had to negotiate tide cracks in the ice at times as well as pressure ridges,” said Godfrey.

“Mawson’s Huts seem to be in good condition but we may only have a day here so we’re doing all the essentials such as changing data loggers and assessing the condition of the building structure.”

The Australian Antarctic Expedition was the pre-eminent scientific expedition of its time to South Polar regions and was organised, manned and supported primarily by Australians.

Read more at: Phys.org



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