First slide


One of lures of heading to the far north and the far south are the fantastic icescapes you might encounter. In many places you’ll get to see snow covered mountains, and glaciers still (climate change not-withstanding) reaching down to the sea.

In some places you might also encounter icebergs. These will range from growlers (up to 1 metre showing above the water) and bergy bits (1-3 metres showing above the water) through to implausibly large bergs which might reach over 100 metres above the waterline.

Icebergs really do capture the imagination but until you see them close up it can be really difficult to appreciate the scale, and the fact that they are (usually) moving. The other aspect that is difficult to imagine is the colour of the bergs - they aren’t just white!

Some of my most memorable encounters with ice have been in the waters around Greenland - from traditional domed or pinnacle icebergs along, through to tabular icebergs several hundred metres long in Baffin Bay.

Most recently I’ve spent time around the ‘iceberg factory’ in Disko Bay on the west coast of Greenland. The Ilulissat Icefjord is the single most productive source of iceberg with dozens of bergs (of various sizes) getting pushed out in Disko Bay every day.

These bergs get pushed north into Baffin Bay by the prevailing currents, then eventually south along the west side of Baffin Bay into the North Atlantic. Local rhetoric (in Ilulissat) likes to claim that the iceberg that the Titanic hit came from Ilulissat - but I guess they would say that wouldn’t they.