New Harbor, Antarctica. Day 3 / by Shaun O'Boyle

More photographs of my 4 days at New Harbor can be seen here on my main website. Four of us rode snow mobiles on the sea ice from Explorers Cove around Mt Barnes to see the Ferrar Glacier and other sites that Sam wanted to visit. The Ferrar Glacier was the glacier Scott and his team sledged up to access the polar plateau during the western journey during the Discovery Expedition. On returning from that journey they followed what is now the Taylor Glacier down and discovered the first dry valley, now Taylor Valley. The Dry Valleys are ice free valleys, only about 2 percent of Antarctica is ice free, and most of that on the warmer Antarctic Peninsula. These valleys are rare areas of exposed earth, and a lot of scientific activity takes place in these valleys.

We were heading for a dive site that Sam had used in previous years located below the Double Curtain Glacier. It's an area where a lot of scallop shells can be found on the ice. What happens is that anchor ice crystals form on the sea bed, scallops move onto the anchor ice, and then the anchor ice can break free and float up and freeze onto the bottom of the sea ice, trapping the scallops in the ice. They eventually precipitate up through the ice by surface evaporation on the top of the ice, and ice buildup on the bottom of the sea ice. We found hundreds of scallop shells in that area on the ice surface and on the ice pressure ridges.

Over breakfast checking out the napkin notes.

Snowmobile ride to Ferrar Glacier

Amanda and Laura demonstrating their ice dancing skills.

Sam photographing a boulder that had rolled down the slopes of Mt Barnes.

View across sea ice to the Bowers Piedmont Glacier

Polar explorer surveying the Ferrar Glacier environs.

Pressure ridges formed by hte sea ice and glacier pressure pushing the ice onto the shore, we we able to drive the snowmobiles between the pressure ridges and the mountain slopes on the "Moat".

Our road to the Double Hanging Glacier area.

Looking across the bay from the pressure ridges.

The view towards the Ferrar Glacier, this is a close as we could get to the glacier because of the pressure and extremely rough sea ice.

Still trying to identify this peak.

We stumbled upon some moss! It's the first growing thing I have seen in Antarctica. A rare find.

Sam Bowser with a scallop shell he found.

2600 ft high slopes of Mt Barnes

Laura shooting video as we drive along the moat.

Looking back at the Double Curtain Glacier from across the bay.

Herbertson Glacier

Surface of the Herbertson Glacier.