Peculiar white solidified water sighted floating in ocean; witchcraft suspected.
04.03.2007 -15 °C
(Written on 4/3/07 0400GMT)
Hello all. Apologies for the delays but I have been unable to connect to the internet for a while because of a rather unusual reason – icebergs! Yes, I woke up on 3/3/07 feeling pleased with myself for sleeping so long after a lie-in (up at 10:30 for another 12-hour watch starting at noon) and opened my blackout blind to find that I’d been innocently snoozing through the amazing vision of bloody great big lumps of ice the size of very large things indeed floating past my porthole. The only problem is that they block the satellite signal to my precious internet, i.e no email and no blog. However, since you are reading this, that must have stopped at some point.
So basically I woke to see the rocky mountaintops of Alexander Island at the far end of a stunning view with icebergs and sea ice in the foreground. The surprising thing is the different forms that these ice masses can take – you name it, they look like it. I even found one that looked like the Mandelbrot set riding side-saddle on the back of a Thompson’s Gazelle, but I had left my camera behind at the time.
I was unable to spend all day snapping the bergs because we have now started doing CTD stations in earnest. It is a fair old piece of work with lots of critical things to remember, and it took us a while to pin down, but I think our watch is probably now capable of doing the job unsupervised by the ever-vigilant Deb. It’s particularly hard to do these things when tired, but this is less of a problem because the ice on the surface damps the waves very effectively (hopefully you will remember from my last entry that pitching and rolling around in the waves makes us tired). We managed 6 CTD stations before the sea ice got too prevalent for the ship (at about 2300, i.e. 1 hour from the end of my watch) and we had to turn north to head for less icy waters.
The pictures that follow do not do justice to the stunning spectacle that is frozen water. I cannot describe it in words either. To get the idea you could gaze at the pics while listening to Elgar, drinking pure adrenaline, and being massaged by a Silverback Gorilla, and then multiply that experience by several. Or take me down to the Horse and Guitar when I get back and at about half ten I’ll start getting emotional and express it more effectively, probably in the form of a folk song. Goodnight.
PS: first photo copyright Shoosmith 2007. All others basically taken by Canon Powershot A530 with a monkey pressing the button.