On January 10 the Palmer followed one of the glacially carved seafloor canyons into Prince Gustav Channel—a narrow corridor between the jagged, glaciated peaks of the Antarctic Peninsula to the west and the bare, sandstone buttes of James Ross Island to the east. The ship pushed south through a meter of ice at a steady five knots, rocking and grinding as it went—creating the impression that it was bumping along a hard, dirt road rather than floating on 700 meters of water.
Scientists on board hoped to push southward to the site of Larsen B—the largest ice shelf collapse to date, which occurred in 2002. But severe sea ice would eventually halt the ship's progress on three different occasions. The researchers still managed to accomplish many of their research objectives, but only through a mixture of ingenuity and pure tenacity.