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Ice is All Around

Ice surrounds us almost all the time. We raise our voices to talk over the ice banging on the hull as we eat dinner in the mess deck. Sometimes it stops us in our tracks – when the ice is too thick, the ship slows to a stop, backs up, and tries again.

Today the ice is giving no such problems. The ship is going through new ice just south of the St. Lawrence Island polynya. A polynya is an area of open water where you would expect to see sea ice. This polynya forms when the wind blows, pushing ice away from the island on the side away from the wind. The wind also cools the water, and more new ice forms. In a movie made from satellite images of the ice, the polynyas shift with the changing winds.

Sometimes, giant broken blocks go tumbling past the Healy. Other times, it’s thin ice that shifts without a sound. Sometimes we can see swells moving through the ice; sometimes, it looks just like solid ground. Today, we present a tiny sampling of the ice we’ve seen on our trip.

Read on about our adventure in the slideshow below. Can't see the slideshow? Get the Flash plug in »

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