December 21, 1914: Icebergs and drift in the Weddell Sea ice pack

–from Sir Ernest Shackleton’s account “South”–

‘Monday, December 21, was beautifully fine, with a gentle west-north-westerly breeze. We made a start at 3 a.m. and proceeded through the pack in a south-westerly direction. At noon we had gained seven miles almost due east, the northerly drift of the ck having continued while the ship was apparently moving to the south. Petrels of several species, penguins, and seals were plentiful, and we saw four small blue whales.

“At noon we entered a long lead to the southward and passed around and between splendid bergs. One mighty specimen was shaped like the Rock of Gibralter but with steeper cliffs, and another had a natural dock that would have contained the “Aquitania.” A spur of ice closed the entrance to the huge blue pool Hurley brought out his kinematographic-camera in order to make a record of these bergs.”


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