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May 25, 2020

Postcards from a frozen icebreaker — Part 22

It is such a strange love affair I have with MOSAiC. I guess I just couldn’t wait to get back…. The plan was not to return until Leg 6, which would have started sometime in August. But the months since our return from Leg 1 have been anything but what was expected.


March 18, 2020

Heading farther north than she has ever been

On the cusp of Interior Alaska’s springtime, Melinda Webster will not experience it this year. She’ll miss most of summer, too. Webster will soon head north of Earth’s land masses, to spend the next half year cradled in ice.


December 23, 2019

Postcards from a frozen icebreaker — Part 21

We’ve handed the torch and now will be eager fans waiting to hear information from the field. I’m feeling this cavity starting to form inside my chest. Already feeling a sense of loss, a sense of melancholy.


December 22, 2019

Postcards from a frozen icebreaker — Part 20

It’s come to the end, of Leg 1 at least. Strange feeling. The Leg 1 personnel moved over to the Kapitan Dranitsin, while the Leg 2 personnel moved over to Polarstern. I was on Polarstern in the afternoon and felt like an intruder. It is their ship now.


December 21, 2019

Postcards from a frozen icebreaker – Part 19

Kapitan Dranitsyn arrived yesterday, to great fanfare from people on both ships….. but apparently our ice floe was not as happy to have another ship around. Cracks emanating from the area of the ships headed out in multiple directions.


December 20, 2019

Postcards from a frozen icebreaker – Part 18

Today was pretty windy, and that wind bites hard. Holding this boom up to the tower and then attaching it with a bunch of U-bolts. This requires nimble and dexterous hands, my thin silk glove liners. I could get one or two nuts screwed on and then had to stuff my hand back into my glove to get it a bit warmer.


December 19, 2019

Postcards from a frozen icebreaker – Part 17

Every day is packed full of hard work and many activities, but sometimes there are very busy days. Like today. Here is a day in the life out here…


December 18, 2019

Postcards from a frozen icebreaker – Part 16

Once again the ice dynamics have become active. High winds from the south have been pushing against our floe, and across the major shear zone that extended across the front of the ship. We’ve seen a little bit of activity there in the last days, but not much. But now things have really come together, jagged pieces of ice getting pushed 3-4 meters up into the air, likely extending 20m or more down below the surface.


December 17, 2019

Postcards from a frozen icebreaker – Part 15

There are some interesting sounds out here. The wind howling, you can even hear the snow blowing along the surface with little tinkles. The pops of a new crack forming. Water lapping up against the side of an open lead. But today were some great sounds…


November 27, 2019

Postcards from a frozen icebreaker – Part 14

I was startled by the phone call shortly after midnight. Trouble at Met City. Felix had just arrived on the bridge for his night watch from 12-4am. He always takes a look around camp when arriving for his duties. And there was no 30m mast. Simply gone