Post from Pete on Arctic icebreaker Oden

So here we are rumbling through the ice which is quite a strange thing. Oden is tootling along on 2 of 4 engines which I guess means that there is nothing particularly serious yet but crushing and grinding through ice pack just seems illogical in a ship. She bounces a lot and vibrates and gets knocked off course by the thicker floes and you can watch the cracks propagating away. There is no normal rolling as the ice makes the sea flat and it’s just calm and weird at the moment. Not complaining at all, it’s just it’s nothing like the never-stillness-sea we know. Ice also gets underneath and clanks around in the propeller for a bit which is super noisy if you’re on the aft deck which will be our usual working hang-out. Oops we just hit a big chunk of ice that made the whole ship shake and I had to go outside to have a look. There are some massive looking bergy bits and tabular icebergs on the horizon which should be interesting. The birds follow us to pick off the fish from our wake.

“Good afternoon people. We have a Polar Bear on the starboard side. Polar Bear on the starboard side, about 700 metres. Thank you.”

That was the best announcement yesterday. He lumbered away and hardly noticed us. Walrus too, but didn’t see that one, and birds and fish. Pretty much teeming with life. It’s just amazing and fascinating, you could sit and watch things go past all day, it’s such an alive place and a privilege to be here.


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