In order to safely travel on the sea ice the winds need to be below 10 knots and the temperatures must be below -5. It’s fairly unusual at this time of year for the temperatures to be above -5 so that’s not so much of an issue but the winds regularly exceed the 10 knot maximum. This week however we’ve had very calm weather which has allowed us to get out onto the frozen sea.
Everyone on base is required to undertake relevant training before they can venture onto the sea ice and we have made the most of the calm weather this week to get everyone trained up. On the training we have covered the theory behind sea ice travel (relevant thicknesses required for travel by foot, ski and skidoo); methods for assessing the quality of the ice; hazards to be aware of and emergency procedures should it all go a bit wrong.
I think that most people enjoyed jumping into a hole cut in the ice the most! While being good fun getting out of the water onto ice is obviously also very important and worth practicing in a controlled manner - having said this there shouldn’t be any danger of breaking through the ice as if there is any doubt as to the stability of the surface we shouldn’t be on it!