Once again the ice dynamics have become active. High winds from the south have been pushing against our floe, and across the major shear zone that extended across the front of the ship. We’ve seen a little bit of activity there in the last days, but not much. But now things have really come together, jagged pieces of ice getting pushed 3-4 meters up into the air, likely extending 20m or more down below the surface. Beautiful blue ice, with the winds whipping snow up and over the top in a swirling dance. This ridge was eating our power line, as well as two Nansen sleds that were parked by a little crack. These sleds were being used as a bridge to cross a 1.5m crack before. Now they were captive by the ridge, although mostly pushed up on top. A small team of us went out to recover the sleds, successfully. The ridge groaned occasionally, but was most done with its movements for now. A new jumble of blocks, some the size of Volkswagens. And our power cable extending up and over the top. We freed some of the tension on the ship side by helping to reroute the cable line.  Then climbed up over the top of the ridge to the other side, to find that the cable had been dragged underneath a couple of huge blocks of ice. No way to move or break these. The cable is still functional; Met City still has power. But we do not have any more cable connectors. So we can’t simply cut this line and then patch it back together with some new connectors. Our decision is to just leave it here for now, wrapped around these ice blocks and extending down into the water at one place. Leave it and wait for a mellower day when we can figure out how to free our cable again.

Dynamic ice. Photo: Alfred-Wegener-Institut / Esther Horvath (CC-BY 4).

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