The Spirit of Mawson - Australasian Antarctic Expedition 2013 - 2014

Australasian Antarctic Expedition

Day 11 – Exploring the sea ice edge

Posted by Chris - 18 December 2013

Shokalskiy on ice

Apologies for the short blog entry. The last 24 hours have been frantically busy. We have managed to get the team on the ice and started work exploring our environment and making scientific observations. Tracey has led her team to collect biopsy samples of Weddell Seas to get a better handle on diet for comparison to material collected a century ago while Erik has been leading the charge collecting ocean data off and on the sea ice edge. I hosted a Hangout on Air with Kerry-Jayne and had an fun conversation with Adelie penguins and a lone emperor penguin… and than half way through the broadcast an Orca turned up, breaking the surface, hissing as it went! This was all caught live and broadcast to the world. Must be a first! The Hangout is now online on the Chris Turney-Intrepid Science YouTube Channel. But the big update is Chris has led two recces to find a route to Cape Denison and returned with the news the ice is badly mixed up. Our tracked Argo works fantastically well on this surface but the other two machines only have wheels and keep getting bogged down. As a result we have repositioned the Shokalskiy further west so that a six person team led by Chris and I will attempt a new route. We’ve just landed and am about to head off. Hopefully have news for you in the next 24 hours.