This week Paul, John and myself headed out in search of some icebergs frozen in the sea ice. We headed out on the quad bikes under mostly sunny skies and made our way towards ‘the pillar’ iceberg. It can be seen from station and we have always questioned its height. As we approached the pillar we found it was larger than expected and was actually a long iceberg. Keeping our distance we walked around the iceberg. The pillar was approximately 20–30 metres tall, four metres wide and seven metres long. We tried our hardest to push it over (see image).
It was then off to Gardner Island. On the walk to the top we went through areas where the penguin colonies used to be in the summer. You can still smell them months after. Once at the top there was a great view across the sea ice towards the station, the Vestfold Hills and the plateau and in the opposite direction, icebergs trapped in the sea ice. You could also see the edge of the fast sea ice and open water towards the Sørsdal Glacier.
After that it was off to Anchorage Island with an even better view. Last week Chris, Vas and I went for a walk out to Anchorage Island after work. It was a very quick walk approximately 20 minutes over the sea ice. It was windy up top so we stayed just long enough to see the sun set over Bluff Island.
On the 12th of August I successfully captured the sun behind the three crosses on Anchorage Island. It was a magnificent sunset that illuminated the whole island. I've been waiting a few months for this photo.
On Tuesday I released my weather balloon as usual. Giving us a profile of the air above us, measuring temperature, humidity, wind speed and direction. Ascending through the atmosphere at around 300 metres per minute. As the balloon climbs we receive the data on our computer in the office. I had noticed that the wind speed of the balloon was getting faster and faster. Usually winds at a higher altitude provide a jet stream of air. However this balloon far out-reached anything imaginable. My balloon had reached a speed of 443 kms/hr at 32 kms above the earth’s surface. As you'll see in the photo below the Antarctic polar vortex forms during late winter to early spring. The winds circulating Antarctica in a clockwise direction. Another amazing Antarctic phenomena.