Iceman

Date Posted: 15/05/2012

I have just re-discovered some great snaps from the filming of Channel4’s feature-length documentary Shackleton. The photographs are taken in the Denmark Strait http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denmark_Strait a narrow body of water between Iceland and Greenland.

The sequence of images shows us forcing our way into the ice pack, distinctive for the ‘pancake’ ice floes, which can be moved with a little encouragement. To get deep into the ice pack, however, we had to steam along the ice ‘coast’ until we found a natural lead in. Once in we turned off the engines and allowed the ice to close around us. Shackleton had spent his entire time trying not to get stuck and yet there we were doing our best to allow the ice to close around the hull. Hmmmm.

What you can’t get a sense of is the noise. The ice creaked and moaned, the hull made horrid splintering noises and the huskies barked, yelped and howled. All the time. We had twenty or so dogs on board, a pack of working huskies from Greenland. They were brutish, vicious dogs, with manky coats, pink eyes and sharp teeth, and small and wiry. Cross a stoat and a wolf and you have the idea. They were very different from the dogs we had worked with when filming in Iceland, which were big and slow and fluffy.

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