The Spirit of Mawson - Australasian Antarctic Expedition 2013 - 2014

Australasian Antarctic Expedition

Day 7 – Birthday wishes

Posted by Joanne - 14 December 2013

WOW...what a day and it is still only 2.30pm. We woke to a bump and shudder at 6.22am when we "shunted" the first piece of pack ice. We have been moving through the ice ever since and will continue to do so for most of the next couple of days. It is fantastic and very hard to believe we are here amongst it. At first, there was the slightest of swells which made the gentle rise and fall of the ice very eerie, especially when you added the fog, snow, icy deck and occasional snow petrel flying past.

However, now, the swell has died completely and we are gently cruising through the ice which varies in size from few centimetres to 40-50 metres and...then...12.25pm and the call went out that the first iceberg had been sited. The iceberg was located at 63º45'S and 147º03'E. What a sight...the crew even circumnavigated it so we all have a tonne of photos and minutes of video. The colours, height, size and layers were amazing. Words cannot do it justice and this is just the first!!!

So far today, we have seen several types of petrels and Adeline penguins. Even a "family" of 7 sitting on a piece of ice watching us pass by. There have also been sightings of seals and whales (but I was in the wrong place...but there is plenty of time yet.)

This is certainly a day to remember and it hasn't finished yet. For me, today is extra special as I am spending my 50th birthday sailing through the pack ice on our way to Antarctica. Talk about a birthday wish coming true and what a present to be in the ice and seeing my first iceberg! This adventure certainly promises to continue to be surprising and impressive.