Wednesday, 27 December 2017
27.12.2017 - 27.12.2017
We sailed Southward all through the 'night' past distant icebergs and an increasing amount of of scattered ice floes. At about 08:30 we crossed the Antarctic Circle and claimed the first in the fleet to sail this far South for the current season.
Almost the entire surface of the sea was covered by ice. Our destination was still some distance away and the density of the ice continued to increase. Finally when it was judged to be 10/10 it was decided that the ship should seek clearer waters.
It was decided that while we were still inside the circle and the ice was down to about 5/10 there would be the Antarctic Plunge Challenge. The ship stopped, two zodiacs were launched and a number of hardy men and women brave the sub-zero temperatures and dive into the water. With the ship rocking in the swell and the need for safety rigging it took some time to process all those brave volunteers.
After lunch we were underway again and it was announced that all the zodiacs would be launched and there would be ice exploring. With nine or ten plus driver the zodiacs set out for over an hour of darting in and out of the ice-floes. We'd decided that sitting in one spot and holding onto a safety rope while being splashed by icy water was not an ideal way to spend the afternoon. For the younger thrill seekers it was no doubt considered to be a fun outing. Most of them certainly looked well pleased when they returned.
Just before diner the engine came to life again and we continued in a generally Northerly direction.
Stay healthy and safe.
Cheers .. Tony