We are in transit to the Adelie coast, where our next drill site is located. Unfortunately, bad weather and poor hole conditions prevented down-hole logging at our previous site: I will explain what that is later. In transit to the Adelie coast we expected to encounter icebergs. This afternoon the ship passed a large tabular iceberg. It was first spotted on the radar. Diego, the ice observer then got onto his post (see photo). These large icebergs may calve and produce small ones that are not visible on the radar. They are called growlers and Diego is very good at spotting them. His job is to advise the Captain and first mate so that the ship does not run into them. Visibility was very good this afternoon, so we were doing more than 10 knots despite the ice.
Later John, the first mate came out and measured the dimensions of the iceberg with a sextant (see photo left). It turned out to be about 3000 feet (1000 m) long: you wouldn't say that, huh? Later that night when I came off shift I had the opportunity to watch the sunset. In the photo, the sun has already set, but it is just below the horizon. In a way it is a sunset and sunrise in one: during this time of the year that is as dark as it gets. Although it got quite cold (1-2 degrees C) a bunch of us were enjoying this view. You can see the people near the bridge to the left, and the dark bump on the horizon is another iceberg. We could see small bits of ice near the ship as well.
I am already excited about tomorrow, when we will arrive on the Adelie coast, only 18 miles from the Antarctic continent. There will be a lot of ice, but hopefully not too much, so we can get some more cores, this time spanning the past ca. 10,000 years.