Sea Ice Training

Today an all day class on how to safely travel on the sea ice, something we need to know because we are taking the snow mobiles 15 mile across the sea ice on Monday to visit the Cape Evans Hut. It was a great class because it was short on classroom time and long on getting out on the ice and learning about identifying ice cracks, measuring widths, knowing when it is safe to cross cracks, and measuring the thickness of the ice (currently about 6 feet on McMurdo Sound). I was also great because I saw my first seal on the ice, my first iceberg, and a spectacular view of Erebus as a storm cleared the mountain.

Our ride out onto the sea ice, a hagglund tracked vehicle. Top speed about 15 mph.
Our ride out onto the sea ice, a Hagglund tracked vehicle.  Our top speed about 15 mph. And it is a very rough ride, especially in the back section.
My first sighting of a Wedell Seal
My first sighting of a Weddell Seal
Your's truly getting to put all those years of drill use to a fun end, drilling to check ice thickness, which is almost 6 feet in this area.
Your’s truly getting to put all those years of construction experience to good use, drilling to check ice thickness, which is almost 6 feet in this area.
Profiling an ice crack, we shoveled off the snow across the crack, then drilled holes every 12 inches to checked ice thickness. If there are seals around it's a good indication that there may be cracks in the area. Good practical info for the next time your ice fishing back home.
State workers profiling an ice crack. We shoveled off the snow across the crack, then drilled holes every 12 inches to checked ice thickness. If there are seals around it’s a good indication that there may be cracks in the area. Good practical info for the next time your ice fishing back home.
Measuring ice thickness
Measuring ice thickness
Mt Erebus
Famous polar explorer with 12,448 ft tall Mt Erebus
A grounded iceberg, this is big, it's hard to get a scale on it, but we estimated that there is about 900 feet of iceberg below the water line.
A grounded iceberg, this is big, it’s hard to get a scale on it, but we estimated that there is about 650 feet of this iceberg below the water line.
Weather clear Mt Erebus with little and big Raxorback Islands
Storm clearing Mt Erebus with Little  Razorback and Big Razorback Islands on the left, and Turk’s Head on the right.
Mt Erebus
Mt Erebus as seen from off of Cape Evans
Riding in the Hagglund with Erebus out the window
Riding in the Hagglund with Erebus out the window
Our Sea Ice instructor Thomas driving the Hagglund
Our Sea Ice instructor Thomas driving the Hagglund

 

 

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