It can be quite an unreal experience
getting close up to ice bergs in small boats but a really awesome if
potentially dangerous thing to do. The effect of light on and through
the ice produces a world of blues and white, the berg can usually be
seen for several metres below the water surface and there may be icicles
hanging down as here where the ice has melted in the sun and water run
across the face of the berg before freezing again. If you ever end up
in this situation, make sure you have some really good sunglasses and
a high factor sun screen for exposed flesh (including that little bit
underneath your nose!) as the reflections and brightness especially
when the sun comes out can be painfully dazzling with no-where to look
that isn't brilliantly lit.
Large irregularly shaped bergs tend
to be the most interesting to visit, but also the most dangerous and
most unstable. They will break up at some point and they will tilt and
move around a lot before settling to a new stable position. If you're
in the vicinity when this happens, you may get some big pieces of ice
dropped on you or at the very least there will be some major waves and
disturbances of the sea. Having said that I've never heard of anyone
actually being hurt in such an event - a combination of the rarity of
it happening, alertness and speed of the boatman/boat and people just
not going near big bergs very often in small boats.
Paul Ward - Pentax equipment, 50mm
lens, 35mm film, K64.
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