Oleksandr Gryshko the current Captain of the only Ukraine ice-class research vessel “Noosphere” turns 40 today. His Grandfather and father were senior mechanics, and Oleksandr’s older brother was also a Captain.
“I am proud that I have the opportunity to be useful for Ukraine and contribute to its polar research,” Oleksandr remarked.
Being the Captain of a ship going to the Antarctic is an extraordinary challenge. To become a polar Captain, one need to have significant experience in ship and crew management, to get additional education and qualification, learn practical skills from an experienced Polar Captain.
When Ukraine purchased the James Clark Ross icebreaker from the UK in 2021 (later it became the Noosphere), it was the first ice-class vessel of Ukraine in the last 20 years. “Noosphere” went on its first Antarctic voyage (2022) under the leadership of experienced British polar Captain Simon Wallace. His experience was taken over by Ukrainian captain Pavlo Panasyuk, who after that began to manage the ship himself.
In the second Antarctic season of “Noosphere” (2022-2023), Pavlo Panasyuk already transferred knowledge to Oleksandr Gryshko, who at that time, had 20 years of experience working in various seas. The first part of the ship’s journey was from Cape Town to the Polish Antarctic station Arktowsky (WAP POL-Ø1), then to Vernadsky (WAP UKR-Ø1), and from there, to Punta Arenas (Chile).
After this voyage, Capt. Oleksandr Gryshko already managed the ship himself. He was supposed to complete the second part of the Antarctic mission of “Noosphere”: return to Vernadsky, later to “Arktovsky”, ensuring changes of polar explorers at both stations, and reach Cape Town. The captain successfully coped with this task despite all the storms.
WAP wish Capt. Oleksandr Gryshko a Happy Birthday
TNX Pavlo Tarasovych UT1KY, Antarctic veteran (ex EM1KY, VP8/UT1KY, LU1Z/UT1KY)
Pictures by Nic Bothma
Read also: https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2023-06-05-ukrainian-polar-captain-i-come-from-a-family-of-seamen-and-long-for-noosfera-to-return-to-my-homeland/?fbclid=IwAR2owIFr1Y2TYyerogBndJxM5HrZ70YehcDqJIamWLMuYnaN4tsnxIQURlI