Ross Ice Shelf – Antarctica, 2018

We arrived in the early morning getting our first glimpse of Ross Island and Mount Terror and soon after the ice shelf could be seen. This was named “The barrier” by the early Antarctic explorers since it represented an impenetrable barrier to their progress. The ice shelf extends for 800km east and is 30m high above the sea. Some 300m of ice is below the surface and below that there is 300m of sea. The Shelf covers an area greater than that of France. Small and very large (tabular) ice bergs calve from its face. We travelled east from Ross Island before returning to Point Crozier made famous by Apsley Cherry-Gerrard in his account of “The Worst Journey in the World” as he and a few colleagues walked from Cape Evans to this point to collect Emperor Penguin eggs enduring total darkness and life threateningly low temperatures (-60oC) yet survived to tell the tale.

The Ice Shelf is an impressive sight and we had good, yet constantly changing light which showed this magnificent natural wonder in all its glory. Adelie Penguins were on ice floes and in the sea, South Polar Skuas circled overhead and Minke Whales swam in front of the wall of ice. Temperatures fell to -9.4oC which with the wind chill felt nearer to -15oC. Filming in these conditions was a challenge.