Dropping Temperatures and Pack Ice Spells Danger!!
21:00 on Sunday the 19th November, 2006
We were woken early to witness the our arrival at the frontier of the pack ice. We had made better progress than expected and by 07:30 we had well and truely reached the the ice flow. Broken sea ice had blown into a thick mass, forming a barrier of pack ice reaching all the awy to the Antarctic continent. Fortunately in places leads had opened up which ment that there were only short sections where the ship had to force and break its way through. Nevertheless forward progress was slow, As we broke through the ice our speed had dropped from the normal 12 Knots down to 1.5knots. By lunchtime we had only managed to travel less than eight nautical miles from the edge of the ice pack towards the South Orkney Islands. To compound our difficulties there was some fear that if the temperatures continued to drop the pack ice could refreeze into an impenetrable mass and leave us frozen in awaiting the thaw.
Wisely the Captain altered course and steered a course westward to avoid the worst of the pack ice. While adding to our milage we certainly made up on time as the speed increased back up to over ten knots.
My own energy levels were back up after the effort of the South Georgia Traverse had take their toll. My only remaining ailment was the sunburn and cracked lips. The hole in the ozone layeris becoming increasingly larger over Antarctica. As a result a greater proportion of UV light penetrates the earths surface at this point. Despite wearing sun block factor 60 I still managed to get my lips burnt. Now five days after the expedition my lips are being held together with creams and tape.
Hopefully they will have recovered by the time I get home.
This afternoon we will have the team debrief on the South Georgia Traverse and a preview of the the film footage captured during the expedition. My own rope team were very positive and I am sure that their experiences were replicated throughout the overall party.
Our next landing will be the research station on Cornation Island which is the largest of the South Orkney Islands. The falling temperature alone tells us that we are now well within the polar circle.
Donal is the managing director of Cappanalea OEC, the premier...
- Furtherest South
- Family Connection
- The Tide Always Turn.
- Bitter Disappointmen.
- Hanging in there
- Dropping Temperatures and Pack Ice Spells Danger!!
- South From South Georgia
- Departure Day from South Georgia
- The Traverse Party
- The Final Step
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