Skating on thin ice
One guarantee in Antarctica is that you can usually find some ice about. If you’re lucky it’s smooth enough to go ice skating on. Since the first grease ice formed in the Harbour at the start of March there has been much staring out the window and conversation about the quality and thickness of the ice. By the middle of April, the ice was thick enough and Bob finally gave into the begging and tears and gained permission for us to skate on the Harbour.
There are several types of skates being used by our sporty expeditioners, purchased and sent to Mawson for just such occasions, and likely to be very useful back in Australia.
There is the ice hockey skate, for those of some skill, and the multiskate which straps on over the boot. You have to have a small enough boot or foot as we discovered some of the issued AAD footwear is too fat. But after some adjustments and much testing is was concluded that the multiskates are preferable. Having the longer blade and designed for cross country and outdoor skating in Europe, they are able to travel over the lumps and bumps in our ungroomed ice and thus you spend more time upright and less on your butt. There is also the multiskate and ski pool combination, for those who have cross country skied previously or who just can’t keep their balance. However, the poles can hinder the speed of the uncoordinated.
We have started the Mawson pairs ice dancing team and have put in the Zamboni order, eagerly anticipated for next winter.