I never got to see one of these during my brief time down south, but then that’d be the advantage of a nice slow boat ride aboard the U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker Polar Sea versus the quick aerial in-and-out by C-17. The Seattle-based Polar Sea, pictured here, returns home this afternoon after its four-month, 22,500-mile trip to Antarctica in support of Operation Deep Freeze. The vessel cleared a 23-mile ice channel to McMurdo Station so supply ships could bring in the annual replenishment of fuel and cargo to scientists working on the continent.
Photo: Petty Officer 3rd Class Kevin J. Neff/U.S. Coast Guard