Saturday, January 9, 2010

January 9: Navigating through heavy sea ice

Today our progress south was stopped by heavy sea ice. It was impressive to see and hear the ship go through very heavy sea ice cover. But eventually it slowed us down sufficiently; so now we're headed north a bit to try a different way.
The ice here comes in a variety of size and shape. From the 1 m + thick snow covered sea ice to a variety of icebergs that can be hundreds of meters thick. Some are jagged and have turned over, others are very tabular in shape. They have come here from many different places, breaking off some of the big Antarctic ice shelves. It is quite likely that some of the bergs come from the recently broken up Wilkins Ice Shelf. Other, smaller, ice bergs are probably of more local origin.

Going through sea ice brings us frequently close to penguins and seals. So far we've seen the Crabeater seal and Adelie penguins (see picture). I also thought I saw a whale blowing in the distance.

We spent most of the day on deck going through some glacier travel issues and taught self-rescue and Z-pulley techniques to people who might accompany us to the glaciers.

No comments:

Post a Comment