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Magga Dan

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Magga Dan

Postby shipstamps » Mon Sep 22, 2008 11:50 am


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Launched at Aalborg on June 1, 1956, the Magga Dan was christened by Mrs. Vivian Fuchs, wife of Dr. Fuchs, leader of the Commonwealth Transantarctic Expedition 1956-57, who had chartered the vessel from J. Lauritzen, of Copenhagen, as the expedition's flagship. The 1,957-ton ship was christened in an unusual manner, Arctic sea water from near Greenland being used instead of the traditional champagne.
The Magga Dan replaced the Theron, which took the advance party to the Antarctic base earlier in 1956. Her maiden voyage in September was a test trip in Arctic waters off Greenland. She arrived at London on November 4 to take on stores for the forthcoming Antarctic expedition, and her smart appearance with the striking Lauritzen funnel and scarlet-painted hull, for easy identification in ice, attracted favourable comment from onlookers as she berthed at Butler's Wharf, near Tower Bridge.
On November 15 she sailed from the Thames, commanded by Capt. Hans Petersen. Besides the Commonwealth Transantarctic Expedition, she also had on board 21 members and 400 tons of stores for the Royal Society's International Geophysical Year Expedition, who were landed at Halley Base, in Vahsel Bay. After calling at Leith Harbour, South Georgia, the vessel sailed from there on December 20 and encountered severe ice packs in the Weddell Sea which hampered the vessel's progress, and delayed her arrival at Halley Base until January 6, 1957.
After unloading she made two short sealing trips to provide food for the expedition's dogs, and left the base on January 28 for Halley Bay on the first stage of her homeward voyage. She arrived back in London on March 13, bearing little trace of her eventful 19,000 miles voyage. I wonder how many ships can claim the distinction of carrying two international Antarctic or Arctic expeditions on a maiden voyage.
The Magga Dan has some ultra-modern features in her construction. One is a glass crow's nest, which is a complete bridge in itself, permitting a survey of the sea ahead and the detection of submerged parts of icebergs, otherwise scarcely visible. Entrance to the crow's nest is gained by ascending a ladder inside the hollow mast. The crow's nest is completely equipped for the navigation of the ship as an alternative to the bridge.
Her hull is, of course, specially protected for navigation in ice with extra strengthening at the stem and very heavy plating on the stern, sides and bottom. It is egg-shaped so that the vessel will tend to be lifted on the ice instead of being crushed. The vessel has a variable pitch propeller, allowing a 50 per cent increase of pressure against ice compared with a normal propeller.
The Magga Dan carries 36 first-class passengers, has a deadweight capacity of 1,855 tons, with a net tonnage of 942, and a refrigerated capacity of 62,550 cub. ft. Her length is 215 ft. with a breadth of 45 ft. and 20 ft. 7 ins, draft, and she carries special emergency stores as a provision against the possibility of being caught in pack ice. A helicopter is carried. The ship is propelled by a Burmeister and Wain turbocharged 2-stroke engine of 2,200 i.h.p. giving a speed, fully loaded, of 12 knots.
SG1993, SG1994MS.
Article from Sea Breezes Jan 1967.
This vessel has another write up, check index
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