Palestinian Olfat Haider has a severely painful hip after the ship, pitching in angry seas, threw her back-first against a handrail.  
     But the eight Israelis and Palestinians continue "Breaking The Ice" toward Antarctica to help one another summit a formidable, unclimbed mountain and name it. 
     See new photos at -- the Puerto Williams departure, raging seas of Drake Passage, and their landing at Deception Island.
     To get these stories in your local newspapers, point your local newspaper editors to the full Daily Log of "Breaking The Ice" at:
     Even help Palestinians and Jews break the ice where you live.  

BREAKING THE ICE -- Daily Log -- Monday, 5 January 2004

Monday, 5 January 2004

Scaling a volcano

At Deception Island. . .in a sea-filled volcano crater. . .Pelagic Australis tied its mooring line to the rotting remains of an old wooden boat, the remnant of an abandoned Chilean whaling station that operated here from 1910 to 1931. Several hours later, our sister ship Pelagic, carrying the expedition's team of mountain guides and its physician, Arik Shechter, pulled into the same shore. After days of rocking and rolling on the rough seas of the Darwin Passage. . .a peaceful night's sleep, uninterrupted by all-night watches on deck.

Dr. Shechter came aboard Pelagic Australis to look in on Olfat Haider, the Israeli-Arab physical education teacher from Haifa, who was injured in a fall during the ocean storm that rocked the boat on Saturday night. Suffering from either a bruised or cracked pelvis, Olfat was in tremendous pain but good spirits, doing her best to believe that within a few days she'll be fit enough to continue with our trekking and climbing mission to the peak of an unnamed mountain on the Antarctic Peninsula.

After a quiet night. . .we gathered on the shore for an inland trek, meant to help prepare everyone for the physical challenges we'll face in the days ahead.

At the team's training camp in Chamonix, France in early November, several of us had come to realize that we had to get in better shape in order to succeed in our Antarctic Mission. Today's walk clearly demonstrated that there had been a lot of improvement. Nasser Quass, the Palestinian from the walled Old City of Jerusalem, had dropped five kilograms since Chamonix. Palestinian team member Suleiman al-Khatib had made a New Year's resolution to give up smoking and was sticking to it. Palestinian journalist Ziad Darwish showed no signs of the injured knee that had given him so much trouble in the French Alps. On the Israeli side, however, Avihu Shoshani was having problems with his right leg and limping noticeably. While nursing his injury he decided to go ahead with the day's plans.

With expedition leader Doron Erel in the lead we set off for the slopes near our mooring point. . .fantastic land and ocean vistas came into view. . .expanses of dark brown hills. . .blue-tinted icebergs hovering off Deception Island's shores. . .hot lava trapped underground produces hot sulphur springs that heat the freezing waters.

Today's trek wasn't much of a challenge. In fact, the professionals called it a recreational walk. . .for the expedition team members, the 6 kilometer walk, with a 200 meter vertical climb over snow and volcanic ash was no easy matter. Within minutes, we were huffing and puffing and stripping off the layers of warm clothing we'd put on in preparation for the hike. No sooner had we done so than the winds picked up, snow began falling and we were all putting on our warm layers again.

Tonight we set sail again, headed southwest for the Bransfield Straight and, beyond it, the Gerlach Straight and, beyond it, the continent of Antarctica. . .it's actually happening. . .The Breaking the Ice peace expedition is on the verge of reaching its destination.