Saturday, December 23, 2006

So close, but yet so far...

With only 60nm to go, we’re following a lead of open water between the Brunt ice shelf and broken sea-ice, aided by satellite images and a clear sky. Our progress varies between flat-out (14knts) to stuck solid, depending on conditions and luck in choosing the right channel between the floes of frozen sea. When we hit a dead-end, we can either back out or break through into the next stretch of open water. In a narrow channel breaking through is the only option, so Captain Harper reverses for 500m then approaches the blockage with the turbos howling and propeller at the most aggressive setting. As she hits the ice, the Shackleton rides up before the kink in her bow below the waterline catches the floe, pulling all her weight down to sharply crack the surface. From within the ship this sounds like an almighty crashing followed by a violent judder from side to side as the pieces separate. Once broken, we slowly edge through until we can continue on our course.

We are now back in clear water, but with one more ice section to come. Depending on how that goes, we could arrive tomorrow or Christmas Day Posted by Picasa


Anonymous Skinny D said...

Yo Yo Davey lad, hows tricks, sounds like things are hotting up down there for you (if you'll excuse the pun). I was reading one of the other lads blogs and he was saying that not all seals move out of the way of the ship and that they can get squished - any chance of you getting a photo of this, or even better a short video clip. I reckon it would go down a treat on youtube!

Anyhows, seasoned bleatings to you Dave, merry crimbo and all that piffle paffle.

9:12 pm GMT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Dave. Hope you arrived safely. Chilly, but not as chilly, in Llandod. Rich and Col went to the refurbished met bar last night with Dean and CJ. Some other familiar faces were there including Huw Paisley. A new family has arrived in your old house. Wishing you and all the penguins a very merry Christmas, from all the Nozzies.

9:44 pm GMT  

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