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19 February, 2001

-065 19 Longitude

128 21 Latitude


It was a beautiful day - one of the few sunny days we have had. I thought about staying up for the barbecue dinner in the helicopter hangar but I needed sleep after my 12-hour shift. Just as I was settling in, the phone rang and a voice on the other end said "iceberg right outside!" We all ran outside, the night shift putting on polar parkas over pajamas to see the sight. Before us was the most beautiful iceberg. On a part of the iceberg jutting out there were penguins mixed with other birds sunning themselves. Other parts of the iceberg had layers of sediment mixed in with frozen water creating a marbled texture. At one point in time the iceberg was floating at a different angle. You could see that angle by looking for the line separating the worn edge (looks like mist), smoothed by the ocean waves, in stark contrast to the jagged ice next to it. The captain went around the iceberg twice, we just missed seeing a chunk of ice fall off creating a huge wave outward as it fell into the ocean. We have seen lots of icebergs since our trip started. In the next few days I will try to introduce you to how they are made and where they come from. They all start out as large blocks of ice that have either broken off a glacier or from an ice shelf (do a internet search to find out the difference). The icebergs are made from clear or translucent freshwater ice mixed with any debris that might have been caught up in the glacier before it broke off into the ocean.

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