Cold or not? Drift Ice walking
by Yuki Maeda
Do you know drift ice? People who live in a southern area of the world may not believe the ocean can be frozen.
Did you think the ice from North Pole?
The drift ice is floating from around Russia and the different % of the concentration of salt in seawater is caused by making the ICE.
The Amur river in Eurasia (Russia) pour in the sea of Okhotsk, then the pure water and seawater mixed. The concentration of salt water of Okhotsk is lower other ocean. Also, the depth of Okhotsk is shallow and easy to cool down by the wind from Siberia.
For those reasons, the small ice piece will be getting bigger and reach to Hokkaido!
The best season of drift ice is between the middle of February to the beginning of March. You can see those drift ice at coasts of East Hokkaido, especially Abashiri and Shiretoko.
Would you like to touch them?
You can not only touch…. you can walk on it or even swim in the icy seawater!!
I went to Shiretoko in the last February 2017.
People who joined the drift ice walking must wear “Dry suits” over your clothes. I highly recommend wearing something easy to move. (Not like jeans)
An instructor took us to the spot. At first, you might not figure out that you already stand on the ice because it looks still snowfield. Keep walking toward a bit more offshore.
Gradually, we can find some water between ice and ice. After a couple of minutes, the instructor pointed the spot and we can slowly soak in the icy water.
It is not cold!!! I thought I got dead frozen body soon after jumping in the water, but the dry suits worked very well. Furthermore, the body would float because of seawater. We wore gloves and special boots, so could soak till around shoulder. (But not covered your face, you cannot dive into the water! It’s cold for sure…)
I want to inform you more and more about this drift ice experience…
But! The best way is going there and having this experience by yourself!!
I guarantee you have never done this such a unique experience before.
If you are interested in this activity, please please contact us.
This drift ice season is very short, so hope you’d not miss this chance!