Arctic expeditioners got up close and personal last week with a massive nuclear icebreaker ship in Russia.
A team of drivers were travelling along Siberia’s frozen Yenisei River when they encountered the vast vessel Taymyr just metres from their trucks.
Although Taymyr was breaking up the ice underneath their wheels, the drivers weren’t deterred from attempting to get even closer to the ship.
Driver Evgeny Shatalov posted on Instagram that one of the other team members, Sasha Yelikov, “touched the icebreaker and ran after it for a few metres”.
Sadly, he added, “It was not possible to carry out the sign for good luck – to touch the tongue to the icebreaker.”
The team are attempting to set a new Guinness World Record for driving regular Toyota Hilux utes to the remote Arctic port town of Dikson, Russia’s most northerly permanent settlement and one of the northernmost towns in the world.
In temperatures of minus 50 degrees Celsius, they’re driving all day across the frozen Siberian tundra, battling blizzards, avoiding the ever-present threat of polar bears, and camping all night on the ice.
But their hardships are balanced out by watching the Northern Lights from their tents – and by meeting the gigantic icebreaker, one of the biggest ever built.
With a length of almost 150m, the nuclear-powered Taymyr plies up and down the Yenisei River, clearing it of ice up to two metres thick to make way for cargo ships.