Pancake Ice and Polar Plunges

26 February, 2019

Pancake Ice, Cape Washington and Mt Melbourne_S.Blanc

Image (c) S.Blanc

Approaching Inexpressible Island in the early hours the welcoming 35-knot winds and -13°C temperature saw us alter our course and sail north of Terra Nova Bay where we encountered some exceptional pancake ice. The sights and sounds of Spirit of Enderby pushing through the frozen discs as the sun crept over the horizon was an experience we're unlikely to forget. Landing at Gondwana Station we explored the German Polar research facility under a cloudless blue sky and no wind where, from up on the ridgeline, we could see the recently built Korean research station. Back on board, some of our braver expeditioners enjoyed a true polar plunge surrounded by pancake ice in -0.2°C water followed quickly by a trip to the sauna. Approaching Inexpressible Island for the second time today, the easing wind meant we could spend a sunny afternoon among the Weddell Seals exploring the lunar landscape, fascinating geology and jaw-slackening views from newly-named Harrowfield Hill. Back on board, the smiling faces in the bar tonight are testament to another incredible day on our Antarctic adventure.

 

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