|A lonely figure drags his sledge across the ice.
Last winter was a very poor winter for the sea ice, and so I was really hoping for a decent sea ice season this year. Things did get off to a good start with a some cold and settled periods in June during which the sea froze. Over the next couple of weeks there where a few windy days, but the ice survived. The ice was deemed solid enough to venture onto in the more sheltered Hanger Cove for testing purposes on the 26th of June. The results were encouraging, and over the next few weeks other areas were tested and deemed suitable of science, and even a little recreation. The marine team got to go out and cut dive holes in the ice, and then go diving. They also managed some CTD sampling through the ice. The ice thickness was consistently between 30 and 40cm, and everything was looking good.
|Marlon and Aurelia from the Marine team drilling to test the thickness of the ice.
|Kate cutting a dive hole in the ice in Hanger cove in late June.
|Marlon and Aurelia about to go ice diving a couple of days later.
It feels like quite a variable season ice wise, with good conditions rapidly giving way to poor conditions and vice versa. The forecast for the next few days is relatively calm, and am hoping for some more chances to get back out on the ice. However, one things I have learnt down here is that the Antarctic weather can be highly variable and unpredictable beast, so who knows what will happen.
|A team on a short recreational trip onto the sea ice.
|Field guides testing the ice out in South Cove. The wharf and some of the marine science buildings can be seen in the background.