Four of us rode snow mobiles on the sea ice from Explorers Cove around Mt Barnes to see the Ferrar Glacier and other sites that Sam wanted to visit. The Ferrar Glacier was the glacier Scott and his team sledged up to access the polar plateau during the western journey during the Discovery Expedition. On returning from that journey they followed what is now the Taylor Glacier down and discovered the first dry valley, now Taylor Valley. The Dry Valleys are ice free valleys, only about 2 percent of Antarctica is ice free, and most of that on the warmer Antarctic Peninsula. These valleys are rare areas of exposed earth, and a lot of scientific activity takes place in these valleys.
We were heading for a dive site that Sam had used in previous years located below the Double Curtain Glacier. It’s an area where a lot of scallop shells can be found on the ice. What happens is that anchor ice crystals form on the sea bed, scallops move onto the anchor ice, and then the anchor ice can break free and float up and freeze onto the bottom of the sea ice, trapping the scallops in the ice. They eventually precipitate up through the ice by surface evaporation on the top of the ice, and ice buildup on the bottom of the sea ice. We found hundreds of scallop shells in that area on the ice surface and on the ice pressure ridges.