End of winter, ice broken up and ready to move out
 - Sea Ice

Antarctic Mountains

At the end of the winter, rising oceanic swells and increasing temperatures cause the stable winter sea-ice to break-up and begin to drift away from where it formed. This years fast-ice therefore becomes next years pack-ice with a portion of it melting and disappearing completely. Here a small inflatable zodiac-like craft is (not entirely sensibly) negotiating quite close, but relatively light pack-ice. One person drives the boat, while another sits on the bow pushing the larger pieces of ice out of the way with his feet.

If the wind gets up and closes the ice, it could well be goodbye to the boat and the people in it too.

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Photo credit - Paul Ward / coolantarctica.com