Sea Ice School


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November 7th 2010
Published: January 4th 2011
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Mcmurdo to Cape Evans


sea ice schoolsea ice schoolsea ice school

learning to power drill through the ice to the sea beneath...
Working and living in the Antarctic environment requires specialized training, especialy if your job has you off-station out on the ice or up in the mountains. Whether you are a scientist or merely supporting science (as I and most of us on station do) there is needed training. From snow- mobile operation to what we call 'Happy Camper' school, (basic polar survival skills) the training is usually intense given the environment, but it can be fun and sometimes awesome! Sea Ice School is one of these, learning how to 'read' the Ice for signs of its condition and thickness, how to drill down and see if its safe to walk or drove over-your life can literaly depend on it, and others with you. Plus you get to go to some cool places! In this class we traveled to Cape Evans, where explorer Robert Falcon Scott and his party began their ill-fated conquest of the South Pole. we practiced our new skills by circumnavigating around a city block sized iceberg, stranded from the previous summer.


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surveying the Ice off Cape Evanssurveying the Ice off Cape Evans
surveying the Ice off Cape Evans

taking a break, posing for pics. it looks cold and it Is!
a stranded Iceberg-a stranded Iceberg-
a stranded Iceberg-

who knows from where it came...but now its stuck. and bigger than a city block....
me and my Jiffy Drillme and my Jiffy Drill
me and my Jiffy Drill

yep, thats the brand name, works great. You walk a few feet, you drill, see how thick the ice is --OK, you walk, drill again, etc, etc.
blue and redblue and red
blue and red

colors here are amazing --the pics dont even come close...under the ice is over 1000 feet of freezing ocean, you do not want to go through!!!
checking the ice thickness.checking the ice thickness.
checking the ice thickness.

In this case about 6 feet....
jiffy drilljiffy drill
jiffy drill

ice and snow are no match for this, drill baby drill...with absolutely no apologies to Sarah Palin.
scotts hut view scotts hut view
scotts hut view

the hut has survived here for a hundred years, still intact and still full of artifacts from the age of polar exploration, and who knows --the ghosts of the British Antarctic expedition.


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