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Home* Triplogs with photo galleriesAntarctic blog → Ice – March 2nd, 2017

Ice – March 2nd, 2017

It was, by the way, not a spel­ling mista­ke that Febru­ary 28 came twice in this blog. The date line.

We have now left McMur­do Sound and the Ross Ice Shelf behind us and we have begun the long, long voya­ge to Peter I Island and the Ant­ar­c­tic Pen­in­su­la. Ear­ly March is late sum­mer in Ant­ar­c­ti­ca, the time when most of the sea ice has dis­ap­peared. It is inde­ed a strong con­trast to pre­vious trips in this area. My expe­ri­ence in this regi­on is not unli­mi­t­ed, and I am not sure if it is an excep­tio­nal ice year or just the sea­son or a bit of both. Any­way, we do not see a lot of ice at all.

But then we get into some ice. Young pan­ca­ke ice to start with, sur­roun­ding the ship on all sides. Very young, soft ice, fresh ice crys­tals, recent­ly fro­zen sea water. But strong enough to sup­port some pen­gu­ins that are some­whe­re on this ice.

The­re are also some older ice floes. On one of them, we find what might be descri­bed as an ant­ar­c­tic zoo with no less than five typi­cal ani­mal spe­ci­es: Emper­or pen­gu­ins, Ade­lie pen­gu­ins, giant pet­rels, snow pet­rels and cra­bea­ter seals. Unbe­lie­va­ble! The lar­ge num­ber of Snow pet­rels alo­ne would be stun­ning, if not­hing else. I have never seen some many befo­re in one place. You are so hap­py if you hap­pen to see a lonely one in the distance on a trip to the Ant­ar­c­tic Pen­in­su­la, and here they are almost the who­le time fly­ing around the ship. Now we have more than a hundred on this ice floes, tog­e­ther with all this other fan­ta­stic wild­life.

Gal­lery – Ice – March 2nd, 2017

Click on thumb­nail to open an enlar­ged ver­si­on of the spe­ci­fic pho­to.

Later, the ice is more open again. The sun is shi­ning, no wind, so it is not a ques­ti­on that we launch the Zodiacs and just enjoy get­ting clo­se to the ice. The crui­se is stun­nin­gly beau­tiful, all the ice, all the­se colours and shapes. Not to men­ti­on the wild­life that we are see­ing, as various seals, Ade­lie- and Emper­or pen­gu­ins. Some descri­be this zodiac crui­se later as one of the true high­lights of the trip.

last modification: 2017-03-30 · copyright: Rolf Stange