The Khlebnikov is one
of the most powerful ice
breakers in the world.
We spent at least
fifteen days making our
way through ice to
various destinations on
the western side of the
Ross Sea. Our trip took
us south to within 18
miles of Ross Island,
home of Mc Murdo
station. Our captain
was challenged by the
fact that this was an
icier year than normal
in the Ross sea. Using
satellite photos, tide
charts, and weather
forecasts, he picked
the best routes for us
While breaking the
ice, we frequently
seals. There were
There were 96 passengers and a crew of sixty.
One of the passengers, a retired NY cop, wore
bermuda shorts most of the time.
Most of the crew were Russian, but the cooks
were Austrian and German. The food was great
and the service was terrific.
Most of the staff had British accents and came
from Tasmania, New Zealand, Ireland, England
and South Africa.
Our room was well organized so we had no
problems putting our stuff away. The air was
dry so our hand wash clothes dried out
quickly. When we were in the open seas, vomit
bags were placed strategically along the rails
in the hall and water was poured on the table
clothes to prevent dishes from sliding.
On one bright sunny day, we ate
our barbecue lunch on the ice.
We understood that we had very
good weather for the trip. Rain
consisted primarily of a very light
snow before and after the Ross
Sea. Temperatures in the Ross
Sea were generally close to
freezing which was most
comfortable for us.
The helicopters were a terrific way
to gain access and views that
would otherwise not have been