Wednesday, October 25, 2006

What was: Day 42 - A bit colder now

We are exactly between Baffin Island (northern Canada) and the western coast of Greenland. From the top of the boat I can see the mountains of both. The passage is now filled with ice flows and icebergs - I get up in the morning and look out my porthole to a huge expanse of smooth water, sometimes with enormous icebergs visable against the sunrise, and sometimes with chunks of ice bigger than the ship floating past my window, close enough to touch. We saw our first polar bears a few days ago - two cubs and a mum, but too far away for any worthwhile photo.

The weather has taken a turn for cold and our sediment traps have made an unsuccessful bid for freedom, entangling themselves in a iceflow. This means we had to retrieve them too early for the samples to be of any worth, and that we had to come unwisely close to a massive iceberg. For the following photo, keep in mind that the edge of the ship is about 30 feet above the water.

Bernard is not thrilled.

We are beginning to get some snow and are employing the ship for what it's meant: icebreaking.

When the boat hits the ice it feels exactly like an earthquake on the ship, and makes a constant huge grinding noise.

The scenery continues to be incredible. We are in the middle of a huge ice flow - to go anywhere we have to break through the ice, with these enormous pieces of ice flipping and breaking around us, 15 ft thick in some areas.

Finally: rosette at sunrise -

And the view from the door to our lab -

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That's incredible.