Saturday, January 5, 2008

First ice

This morning after breakfast we got the treat we have all been waiting for: a fantastic tabular iceberg passing at barely a few hundred meters from the ship.

Tabular icebergs carry their name well. They are flat like table-tops (at least the visible part is). We were close enough to this one to make out vertical fractures at regular intervals, and brilliant ice-blue reflections at its base. The color was so vivid it seemed painted on. Fantastic!

As this was our first berg, it got its fair share of photographs. I'll share some of them as soon as I can, though I fear they will not convey the same impression as we got first hand.

Otherwise all is going well, we are at 64 degrees south, proceding at a leisurely 10-12 knots. The sea is calm (a welcome change) and pretty cold (0.4C). The Astrolabe has gone back to a gentle rolling regime, enabling us all to get a good night's sleep and to finally enjoy a hearty breakfast. The mood is good all round, though we're all fairly impatient to get to Dumont d'Urville at last.

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