‘Frazil’, ‘Grease’, ‘Pancake’, ‘Nilas’, ‘Grey’, ‘Shuga’ — who knew there were so many words to categorise and describe different forms and thicknesses of sea ice? Recent calm and cold conditions have assisted the sea around station to slowly and steadily freeze — enveloping us in a mass of sea ice as far as the eye can see.
We know the most extensive growth of sea ice happens between March and May every year, but of course this year feels special for those of us that are lucky to experience the wonder of it for the first time.
Over the past few weeks, we have sent teams out to ‘walk on water', initially with a rescue platform, then on foot, to test drill and measure the depth of the sea ice forming in Horseshoe Harbour and East Bay.
Over the coming months, the sea ice will grow to be so thick and consistent that it will provide us with a whole new world of travel. A superhighway of sea ice will form, to enable travel on quad bikes and Hägglunds to the emperor penguins colonies and outlying islands that are now surrounded by ice.
The sea ice around station also provides expeditioners with a whole new recreation zone. We can’t wait to get out onto that sea ice — we’ll keep you posted on what we get up to out there…