Sunday, December 24, 2006
A White Christmas!
Happy Christmas, and a Merry New Year to one and all.
I'll be thinking of you back home over the next few days, somehow Christmas doesn't quite feel right with 24hr daylight. We sang carols, drank mulled wine and ate mince pies in the blazing sunshine last night! This was my last sunset, just before we crossed into the Antarctic circle:
A few days after this sunset, the ship got stuck in the ice. We're going nowhere fast. It's quite exciting actually, we'd planned to be at the base by now, but global warming has forgotten us, and we're now well and truly stuck in the worst ice seen in these parts for many years. It's about 7 metres thick and covered in beautiful mounds and pressure ridges, with a few giant icebergs poking out here and there. The ice casts amazing turquoise shadows, especially in the crevasses in big icebergs. Sometimes we see the burrows of the snow kangaroos in the ice cliffs. The odd seal or Emperor penguin rears its head from time to time, and then quickly dives out of the way of the ship, until, that is, it realises that we're actually going backwards! We keep running out of steam as the ice proves too much for us, so we back up and take a longer run up. Here's the ice cracking as the ice strengthened bow shows what shes made off:
The latest plan seems to be to sit here in a nice open pond within the ice until the wind changes direction (hopefully within the next few days), and then the ice should blow offshore opening up our way to Halley. Looks like we're likely to be spending New Year on board too!