When you embark on your guided expedition with Quark Expeditions, you'll learn the Polar Regions have a lingo all their own! To help you prepare for your adventure have you speaking like a seasoned explorer, here some terms best categorized as ‘Polar Speak':
Ice, Icescapes and Icebreakers
Anchor Ice: submerged ice attached to the sea bed.
Brash Ice: floating ice accumulations of fragments of 2 meters (6.5 ft) across or smaller.
Calving: a block of ice breaking away from a glacier.
Crack: a fracture in floating sea ice narrow enough to jump across.
Crevasse: a crack or fissure in a glacier.
Fast Ice: sea ice attached to land.
Floe: a piece of floating sea ice.
Frazil: fine bits of ice suspended in water.
Ice-Shelf: a floating sheet of ice, usually of considerable thickness, attached to the coastline.
Pack Ice: large pieces of floating ice driven together in a floating mass.
Slack Pack: a large amount of ice, less dense than pack ice.
Tabular Berg: an iceberg with a flat top parallel with the waterline.
Tabular iceberg - Photo credit: passenger: lijishan
All Hands on Deck: Nautical Terms
Ice Strengthened: a vessel suited to polar travel, and can include a double or flat hull, or a hull clear of fixtures such as stabilizers; specialized engines; a protected rudder and propeller. Is constructed of thicker steel; has an ice belt, an area of the hull with a thicker layer of steel and additional interior structure.
Ice Breaker: different from an ice strengthened vessel, with three traits that most ships don't possess - an ice strengthened steel hull; an ice clearing shape; and lots of power to push it through the sea.
Kayak: a watercraft believed to be more than 4,000, and a great way to see wildlife up close.
Zodiac: an inflatable, motorized vessel used for accessing hard to reach places.
Penguinologist: a person who specializes in all things related to penguins.
Aurora Borealis in East Greenland - Photo Credit: C. King
Locations and Landscapes
Aurora Borealis: commonly known as the Northern Lights, caused by electrically charged particles from the sun entering earth's atmosphere.
ATV: short for All Terrain Vehicle, an all-purpose motorized vehicle for covering a lot of ground in a short span of time.
Fjords: formed when a glaciers cut a long narrow inlet; a familiar sight in the Arctic.
Nunatak: a mountain peak or rock spur that sticks out of a glacier or ice sheet.
Northeast Passage: connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans through the Arctic following the coasts of Russia and Norway.
Northwest Passage: the legendary passage through Canada's Arctic Archipelago along the northern coast of North America.
Trypots: cauldrons used by sealers and whalers in the process of oil extraction.
Archipelago: a sea or stretch of water containing many islands, such as the Palmer Archipelago.
Aurora Australis: the southern counterpart of the famous Northern Lights.
Protocol on Environmental Protection: known as the Madrid Protocol, it designates the Antarctic as a natural reserve.
Sledging: an over snow vehicle on runners pulled by dogs or men; the way the original explorers traveled.
Want to know more about all things polar? Contact the polar experts today to learn more!