29 Jul 2011
Blue whales in the Denmark Strait
Blue whales cure seasickness. Or they stave it off for a while, at least.
We woke this morning in the Denmark Strait where a great upwelling of water flows out into the world ocean. Water from this 900-kilometre wide strait takes about 1000 y ...
27 Jul 2011
Iceland is splitting...
A thousand years ago around this time families from all over Iceland followed a network of trails to Thingvellir. They walked along glacial valleys, over hills or along the coast. Some took more than two weeks to make the journey.
26 Jul 2011
Back to the Arctic - Students on Ice 2011 Arctic Expedition
It seems odd to be writing about the Arctic while listening to the sound of chainsaws. I live in Ottawa, the capital of Canada. Like the rest of the country, and most of the North American continent, we are having strange weather this year. Spr ...
10 Mar 2011
Whalers' ghosts, bathing suits and measuring the experience
Deception Island (62°57'S, 60°38'W)
The beach is black. Volcanic gravel and soot have begun to bury the remains of the whaling station on Deception Island. Part of the South Shetland chain, it is the safest harbour in Antarcti ...
25 Feb 2011
Near Cape Horn - In the eye of a nearly perfect Drake storm
It has taken 52 hours to cross the Drake Passage from Thompson Island, our last landing in Antarctica. During that time, the Drake more than lived up to its reputation as the most unpredictable stretch of sea in the world.
Three nights ago we ...
21 Feb 2011
Paradise Bay, 65S, 62W
Sublime: “…of such excellence, grandeur, or beauty as to inspire great admiration or awe.”
The word echoed in my mind as I sat beneath the massive front of a glacier in Paradise Bay, at the end of Andvord inlet. We arrived ...
20 Feb 2011
Penguins and Seals, Seals and Penguins
Brown Bluff, Antarctic Peninsula (63.5 S, 56W)
There is a debate of sorts between ornithologists about what is “cooler” – the thick-billed murre that breeds on cliffs in the Arctic or the penguin that makes its home in Antarc ...
19 Feb 2011
Port Lockroy “Base A”
Everyone wants to eat krill. Fish, birds, seals, whales, penguins and humans hunt the Antarctic waters for these five-centimetre, shrimp-like creatures. Krill are the foundation of the food web down here. You know ...