70 nautical miles from the Antarctic continent (130km) we start to struggle to get through the pack ice, the ships captain, a Norwegian fellow who has considerable experience getting through the pack ice in Antarctica, is getting frustrated, all the reports they have had on the ice conditions are contrary to what is physically there, the strong ocean currents and winds have packed the pack ice tightly and along with the snow falls the pack ice now has a credible bonding cap. The ice strengthened ship is now struggling and progress is incredibly slow. At times the ship is rocked back and forward to free itself, however nature wins in the end and the ship is truly stuck. The captain orders to keep the propellers rotating in order to stop the ice closing in around the props and rudder. We are now at the mercy of the elements, with no ships in the vicinity we now wait for the ship to drift with the ice and currents till we can find a passage through the thick pack-ice belt.
Next post – A close call!
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