We crossed into the Ross Sea around 04 December and Tera Nova Bay around 06 December, encountering ever thicker ice as we proceeded poleward.   At first, the strategy was to navigate around to find thin ice.  This is the job of the Ice Pilots.  We had two of them, from Russia, and one was on duty at all times.  They would call out navigation orders in English, and the Helmsman would confirm in English and then drive the boat in Korean.  The Capitan is also on duty .

Ice Pilot

Ice Pilot looks for the most navigable ice.

The result is that we take a long, slow and circuitous  path toward our destination.

A Crooked Path

The Araon steers a crooked path looking for the best ice. This is a photograph of the ship’s position over about a day


Near the end, we were making only a couple of hundred feet of headway at a time.  The ice would stop the progress of the Araon, they would back up a half mile, build up speed and ram the ice to make a little progress.  Over and over and over…   Slower and Slower as we approach land.

One Small Step

The Araon backs up after being stopped by the ice, but making a nice crack. Mount Melbourne awaits us in the distance.



This skua takes advantage of the newly broken ice to see if the water might contain a little something to eat.


A video of the ice breaking is posted here: