China’s polar icebreaker Xuelong 2, or Snow Dragon 2, left South Africa’s Cape Town on Thursday, ready to sail across the westerlies for its Antarctica exploration. More than 120 people, including staff from the South African Ministry of Environment and students from local high schools, visited the polar icebreaker. “We are so impressed, and I could see that most of my students really enjoyed it. We didn’t know that it’s so huge when we get inside,” said a high school teacher. Cape Town, located at about 34 degrees south by latitude, belongs to the outer area of the westerlies and is extremely vulnerable to cyclones. It means that Xuelong 2 will soon be put to the test against the strong westerlies after sailing out of Cape Town.
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