Thin ice race - outward bound
Paul Ward - 1985-86 - Signy Island - Antarcticans Database Project - more

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Thin Ice Race

At the beginning of the winter, when the sea-ice is just beginning to form and you can just about walk on it, but would rather not, the thin-ice race takes place. Everyone on base goes and puts on a wet suit and the course is set, up the coast a couple of hundred yards, then across to the opposite side of the cove and back to the jetty.

You go fine for a while, but then the ice breaks and you fall through. Out you get and you're off again, those in front are then handicapped by those at the back as they turn for home, just run up to some-one and jump besides them, you both go through the ice.

My memory is of one of the most strenuous things I've ever done, sweating profusely in freezing sea-water (-2°C) with an air temperature of -12°C and a strong breeze, resting in a pool of sea water to cool down before starting again. Great fun though and definitely one of those things that you do for the experience -1985.


Photo; © Paul Ward