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Blog: the screaming sixties - 6 March

Today the screaming sixties are living up to their name. We are at 67°S, just east of Scott Island, and deck work has been suspended temporarily while we weather a storm.

Our horizon is a bit slanted today. A view from the bridge of R/V Tangaroa

David Bowden, NIWA

It’s tricky to photograph the movement of the waves but this view from the bridge window captures some of the motion.
Sadie Mills, NIWA

We’ve actually positioned ourselves to be in the centre of the storm, avoiding the strongest winds, but the NW swell is nine metres high, and we have a second swell from the south of six metres high. That makes for a very confused sea and the R/V Tangaroa’s occupants sometimes feeling like they are being swirled around in a washing machine. This is the second big storm we have had while we have been down here so we have been very lucky. Soup is a precarious menu item at lunch and the chairs are held in to the tables by bungee cords. The library is busy today with the scientists taking the opportunity to catch up with email and data entry. All of us are getting the hang of holding onto the table when a big set of rolling waves come through. The swell will hopefully reduce through the day and overnight and we’ll be back into action tomorrow.

Icebergs have been showing up on the radar, and we sailed close to another big one this evening, providing plenty of opportunity for photographs.

Rough seas and snow as night comes on.
David Bowden, NIWA

 

The blip on the radar to the left is Scott Island, but it’s so misty we can’t see it on the horizon, and the blips on the right and ahead of us are icebergs.

Sadie Mills, NIWA

A large iceberg just east of Scott Island.
Sadie Mills, NIWA

An ice penguin? An interestingly shaped stack at the end of our latest iceberg.
Sadie Mills, NIWA

Research subject: Antarctica