An Ice Day for a Swim!
Wednesday 16th December 2015 @ 09:55 by Tom Greggan

For somewhere different to spend your 70th birthday you have to hand it to Judi Friend. She went for a dip amongst the ice floes off Antarctica!

Well she did want a change from swimming in the Arctic Ocean!

The first question had to be how was Antarctica’s sea? Particularly as Judi did not slip into the icy waters wearing a body warming wet suit.

“Cold,” she said, with a beaming smile. “And I did not stay in very long.

“I have also wanted to visit Antarctica, so I thought it would be a good place to spend my 70th birthday.”

Judi made the trip with husband John, heading for one of the world’s coldest spots on a ship that’s used for Russian sonar surveys.

They had been visiting the Arctic since 2009… never before its Polar cousin all of 11,500 miles away.

The Friends, from Spire Hollin, Glossop, had sailed past ice bergs and through ice floes, passing close to Elephant Island where explorer Ernest Shackleton and his team were marooned for four months in 1916. Their fellow passengers, like them, all shared an interest in Polar wildlife.

There was plenty to see and plenty to enjoy in one of the last untouched parts of the planet.
This included elephant seals and a variety of birds.

Judi and John also saw at first hand the signs of global warming.

“The ice is lessening and thus there is less algae growing on it,” said Judi. “Which threatens the food-chain which ultimately relies upon the algae.”

By David Jones