18 Dec 2006


Ice is all around us now. No words or photographs can describe the feeling of being surrounded by ice as far as the eye can see. The ocean appears darker now against the whiteness of the pack ice, and
at times there is more ice than ocean. The ice forms every winter when the surface waters freeze and spread out from Antarctica. In summer, it breaks up into big, flat pieces called ‘floes’ that look a bit like a giant white jigsaw puzzle. Our first stop is not far away: Australia’s Davis Station (68°35’S, 77°58’E), almost 5000 km from Hobart.

 CR_unch! Although the Aurora is an icebreaker, it can still be quite tricky to travel through the ice. The fastest way through is by following the water leads or cracks between the ice floes. Sometimes, we have no choice but to slow down and break through the ice. When we hit a big piece, the ship bangs and shudders as the bow pushes up on top of the ice. The weight of the ship then cracks the ice and we move through. When this happens, the place to be is right at the front of the ship, where you can
see the cracking and hear and feel the crunching!

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