Wednesday, December 9, 2009

9 December, 1910

Here's Ponting cinematographing the pack ice in quite a precarious position levered out over the deck!

Today we have been passing quite spectacular tabular icebergs that have broken off from the ice shelf -- they are enormous flat-topped slabs hundreds of yards in length and 60 - 80 feet high with horizontal bands of ice weaving through them. Absolutely spectacular. Ponting is beside himself with joy, saying he's seen nothing like it. The colors are beautiful when the sun pours through the clouds. More whales and plenty of sea birds, snow petrels and Cape pigeon and the like.

We are at about the 66th parallel I should think. I am surprised to meet ice so far north so early and don't know what it forebodes. In any case I am glad for the calm seas as it provides much needed relief for the ponies. The men are all jolly and singing shanties up a storm.
Here's another one that should give you some idea of our surroundings. One feels every now and then a sharp bump as the ship's prow hits the ice. If it becomes thick I shall be obliged to put the fires out as we can't waste coal going nowhere.

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