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The Road to Hut Point

An ice breaker working its way through the ice towing another ship
Description: Painting, Oil on Canvas; by Standish Backus; 1957; Framed Dimensions 26H X 34W
Accession #: 88-186-BR
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In McMurdo Sound, icebreakers came alongside the U.S.S. Wyandot, got the cargo and then ferried it up the channel through the heavy ice to deliver it to tractor trains on the ice shelf. Tractors dragged it by sled to the supply dump where it would be available for building the Air Operating Facility. "The bay ice in McMurdo Sound being reluctant to break up and depart in keeping with the shipping schedule of Task Force 43, it remained for the ice-breakers to plow a furrow for themselves leading nearly sixty miles south from the open sea to a final position of six miles short of the base at Hut Point. It was a rocky road through ice ten feet thick. The broken fragments, having no place to go, had to be forced under the ships' bottoms and through the whirling propellers. The wear and tear of such beating, eventually accumulated broken propeller shafts in Edisto and Eastwind. Hut Point, in the painting, is at the base of the dark, triangular observation hill on her way to take on another load from the cargo ships. Offloading at the end of the cut channel is Edisto. White Island is the backdrop to the southeast."--Commander Standish Backus.

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