The Weddell Sea

For the last few days we’ve been trying to find a route through the sea ice toward our destination. As we’ve got further south (now at 71° south) we’ve been ploughing through quite thick ice, but there comes a point, even for this ship where it gets stuck and beats a retreat As you can see from the navigation monitor our progress has been somewhat haphazard, going around giant icebergs and finding the route blocked by hard packed sea ice. We have just spent a day, only to end up back where we were.

Our wayward route!
Wind blown snow from a giant tabular iceberg

The temperature has now dropped, (-3°C) but the visibility has been poor with mist and windblown snow coming off the ice. The 50mph wind has made it bitter to stay for any period out on deck. But with the blog in mind I’ve been out there on the bow of the ship looking for wildlife…..

There are a number of different seals to see, and mostly Emperor Penguins, who aren’t really bothered by the ship, and I’m sure I saw some today that I saw yesterday………hmmmmmmmm. Occasionally though we see a lone penguin in the foulest conditions miles from anywhere…..

Antarctic Petrel
Crab Eater Seal and Southern Giant Petrel
Elephant Seal
A lonely Emperor Penguin

I wouldn’t want to be a penguin……….

Series - Antarctic Painting

  1. Polar Painting
  2. Journey South
  3. The Journey Continues; Iceberg Ahoy!
  4. Ice Ice Baby
  5. The Weddell Sea
  6. Nearly there!!
  7. Halley 6 : On The Ice
  8. All Work and No Play
  9. Different Shades of Grey
  10. Racing Penguin
  11. The Move Begins
  12. Moving Postcard from Antarctica
  13. Winter approaches
  14. The Halley Marathon
  15. The Final Week
  16. The Journey North
  17. Antarctic Painting – Year 3
  18. Antarctic Demolition

13 thoughts on “The Weddell Sea”

  1. Wildlife aside, which is of course amazing in it’s own right, the giant “tabular iceberg” is awe inspiring. You really are providing a glimpse into a wildly different world Ian! It’s hard to comprehend what amounts to a whole island of ice breaking free and setting sail for the north… It’s not hard to let the imagination conjure up a whole polar civilisation existing out of sight atop those precipitous cliffs. :alien:

  2. okay okay i am now very jealous!!!!!
    amazing piccies ian and i am impressed with your wildlife identification.
    today i spotted two hens and a blackbird, oh and theres a spider in my bedroom.

  3. Keep the updates coming in Grim, great stuff.

    With regards to your ‘trying to find a way through the ice’, I’m not so sure. Looks like a classic case of the compass being 180 out?!

    Bit :freeze: here this morning – more white stuff. Hooray!

  4. -3° – that’s nothing compared to what we’re getting at the moment. But good effort braving potential frost bite to get those pictures.

    I love the penguin. :love: :love:

    What happens if you can’t get through the ice?

  5. 😆 Wow… love the lonely penguin… what a hero… standing there waiting …

    Thanks for posting all the news… Joycee up… will show her your posts tonight…. :freeze:

    Fantastic… and yes… minus 3 in London… 6 inches of snow… everything stopped… even the Arsenal game on Saturday and they closed Brent Cross!

    Ha! x :geek:

  6. I had to get my ice-breaker out tonight … a hammer! The kitchen sink wasn’t draining, at first I thought I had a blocked u-bend, but then I realised the drain from our sink in to the gully outside must have frozen! I went outside and there it was, a Lakeland iceberg. Just like RSS Shackleton though – the ice didn’t stand a chance. :mrgreen:

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