"POLAR DUKE" 1999-2000 EXPEDITION- part two.

The "Polar Duke" spent over three months continuously in the Antarctic engaged in various scientific disciplines. The expedition was called the 1999-2000 GANOVEX Expedition.

The sticker at right shows the official logo of one part of the Expedition and was issued by the Scientific party involved. 

It emphasises that the expedition was a joint German/Italian one  focused on Aeromagnetic Research in the Antarctic largely conducted by the four helicopters on board including using scientific equipment slung below the helicopters as shown at right.

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The following large image was specially designed by Dieter Möller one of the participants. It shows a montage of  photos of all the people participating in the expedition. It includes all the ship crew, the scientific parties and the helicopter crews.

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The following photos were taken during the expedition and kindly provided by Captain Karl Sanden for use on this page.

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This attractive view at left shows the "Polar Duke" set fast in the ice with her gangway down onto the ice.



The photo at right shows "Polar Duke" with her bows fast against the Mertz Glacier.


If you look closely you can see a ladder on the ice from the "Polar Dukes'" foredeck.

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A new science worked by the "Polar Duke" and its helicopters is called Radio Echo Sounding. this is used to measure the thickness of the ice and map the features of the land underneath the ice. The radio waves can penetrate to a thickness of 4,000 meters. A frame in the shape of the roof on a house suspended under the helicopter as shown at right is flown on a pre-plotted track and the whole frame acts as a giant aerial.   It is suspended 10 meters under the helicopter and flown at 50 knots at a altitude of 100 meters.

It takes a lot of concentration to keep it at the right speed and altitude. The scientists  determined that the Matusevich Glacier, which is 65 miles long including a 12 mile ice tongue, is 150 meters thick over the water and 2000 thick at the base.  It is advancing to the north-north-west at the rate of 2 meters per day and rises and falls 1.5 meters with the tide.

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This photo taken in February 2000 from one of the helicopters shows the large break in the Mertz glacier where the tongue broke off and thus creating a very large iceberg estimated to be 30 miles by 20 miles in size.


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This photo at left shows Mawson's Refuge Hut which was visited by  a helicopter party from the "Polar Duke".

The following photos show the return of the Polar Duke to Lyttelton on Sunday 5th March 2000

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"Polar Duke" arriving in the outer harbour at 8.30am

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"Polar Duke" passing the outer mole

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Passing Diamond Harbour in its own bit of sunshine.

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Turning to enter the inner harbour

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Tied up at 2 West berth in the inner harbour

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The Gangway being lowered from "Polar Duke"

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Four Helicopter pilots talk to wives, family and friends

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Helicopter being prepared for fly off

PD007.jpg (48144 bytes) first of the helicopters flying off the flight deck.

PD009.jpg (30147 bytes)   Lift off from flight deck.

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Other helicopters still in the hold of  "Polar Duke"

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Another view of the helicopters

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Stores and equipment being prepared for off-loading

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John Hargreaves, first mate on the voyage.

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Captain Karl Sanden in his private office.

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Captain Carl Sanden autographing special envelopes

The "Polar Duke" was scheduled to stay in Lyttelton for under a week before heading back to the Antarctic for another joint German/Italian Expedition called NOVOGIMEX. Scheduled departure date is 11th March 2000 and  estimated return date is between the 14th and 15th of April.  Nearly all the existing crew and members of the scientific parties will be changed over, with only John Hargreaves the first mate who will act as the first officer and the geophysicist scientist Dr Volkmar Damm who will join the new science team are staying for the next expedition.  Captain Karl Sanden will be replaced by another skilled Polar veteran in Arne Sanvick.

We would like to express our thanks to the members of the Ganovex 1999-2000 Expedition and the Captain and crew of the "Polar Duke" for assisting us with the preparation  of these web pages with special thanks to Captain Karl Sanden, First Mate John Hargreaves, Helicopters New Zealand Pilot Michael Hayton, scientist Dr.Norbert W.Rowland and Geophysicist Dr. Volkmar Damm.

Go to read report of "Polar Duke's" next Antarctic expedition

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