on ice.
"There is young ice, a thin film that first covers the sea in autumn and soon thickens to bay ice. This is churned by rough seas to form pancake ice. There is a field, fifteen or twenty feet thick, whose surface stretches the horizon, that sometimes starts spinning - a gigantic mass more than ten thousand million tons in weight smashing into another field of equal size. A pack is a mass of small pieces extensive as a field. There is sludge, fragmentary remains of the wreckage of all sorts of ice that has become saturated by the sea. Ice that is badly melted and honeycombed is rotten. A calf is a piece of ice that breaks away from the lower part of a field or berg and shoots violently to the surface. There are icebergs, mountains of ice, sometimes the color of sapphires or emeralds, endlessly different in form - the compelling source of great beauty, great terrot. The ice blink is a peculiar whitish glow in the sky that denotes the presence of extended ice; the land blink is a yellow light, and a blue streak, which spells open water, is a water sky. A ship can go through a lane, a narrow channel between pack ice, or through a lead, a direct line of water; it can be beset, imovably held by surrounding ice; it can be nipped, its sides forcibly pressed in by the ice; it can be cut in two, crushed, buried."

Jeanette Mirsky, To The Arctic! The Story of Northern Exploration from Earliest Times to the Present. Univ. of Chicago Press, 1970, pp 6-7.
posted by Eduardo Brito at 12:39 | Permalink |


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