|Icy Cargo on the foredeck|
|Finding Open Streams Close to Bergs|
|Nothing Keeps a Good Photographer Below Deck|
I haven't sailed on many of the oceans of the world, in fact technically only three. Those being the Pacific, Indian and the Southern Ocean.For me, the Southern Ocean is as wild and unhospitable a place that any sailor could venture. It offers you beauty and splendor in the wildlife that follow you, the majesty of icebergs that you pass, and the full voracity of mother natures wind and sea. The Southern Ocean was only defined as recent as the year 2000 as that stretch of ocean below 60° S that surrounds the continent of Antarctica and does not come into contact with my home continent of Australia. Anyway, regardless of the exact geographical locality of the ocean that stretch between Australia and Antarctica is "bloody" rough and once your past the 60°S mark, cold. This year I traveled down as usual on RSV Aurora Australis. The trip took a more southerly route this time to avoid a low that was driving strong winds and seas directly into our normal path. So we headed pretty much due south towards Antarctica rather than sloping off to the west soon after leaving Tasmania. The seas weren't too bad this year compared with other years (A Voyage to Antarctica by Horse) a maximum of 6m this year. The main difference this year was how quickly we came into sea ice, and how tightly packed it was around the 60°S mark. With overcast days we were not able to launch our helicopters early to direct us to open "streams" (open water between ice packs) thereby allowing us to maintain good speed. On a few days we were only able to put 1 or 2 Nm(nautical miles) behind us.This in turn put us a week behind schedule in making it to Davis Station.
|Up Close and Personal with Ice Bergs|
|Ice Closing in Behind Showing Little of Where We've Come From|