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Dead calm - 4 February 2008

Monday 4 February 2008
Overcast but dead calm outside
0 deg C

The sea outside is dead calm. I've never seen anything like it before.

Yesterday we had sea birds and whale sightings and the sea had some life. Today there are no such signs out there at all, no sea ice or icebergs - just flat still water – it’s as if everything has disappeared and left the sea motionless. We are smoothly moving through it. Amazing!

I went on deck, up to the wheel house and monkey island (the deck above the wheel house). There is nothing out there except flat water and a touch of snow.

In the wheel house I chatted to Andy Campbell and he showed me the weather satellite image for the journey. We are heading straight towards Antarctica down the 00.00 longitude meridian, then will skirt the edge of the Fimbulisen ice shelf, past Neumayer (the German base – we’ll give them a wave), round to Stancomb-Wills (a bottle neck of ice shelf and sea ice on the Brunt ice shelf) and then to Halley. Andy believes we might be at Halley by Friday if this weather continues. From the satellite image it looks like there is a clear passage between ice shelf and sea ice for most of the way through. On the first call out in December all of this was sea ice.

Although we are following 00.00 longitude, the ship's time is currnetly GMT -2hrs, to catch up to Halley's time. It is 11.47 ship's time and the re-assuring smell of burning from the Galley signals that lunch is almost ready.

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