Aboard an iceberg?

When someone steps onto a giant iceberg are they going “aboard” or “ashore”? Or is “aboard” reserved for man-made things like ships, boats and vessels?

What about a glacier that is floating on the sea and has not yet broken from the land it formed on? “Ashore” seems to work here at least until it calves.

To rephrase: if “aboard” is for man-made things and “ashore” is for things attached to land then what word is used for stepping on free-floating ice?


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As a sailor, I would say the proper term is you’re “lost”. But, if you’re a scientist and this is a planned event, then the vernacular changes to the name of the iceberg which probably sounds something like a Windows suggested password.



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…by some 20° of latitude.

If the bottom of the iceberg feels the rock, then you climb ashore, otherwise it is aboard.
Or not?

We called in Ice Liberty back in 1980 on USCGC Glacier !!

It is neither aboard or ashore, it is just on; as in ‘One has stepped on a piece of ice’.
Followed shortly by ‘One appears to be being eaten by a Polar Bear’.


I guess that depends on how far your foot sinks. (ie. stepped “in” snow, or stepped “in” bear shit). If you packed the right gear, you can debate it with the volley ball. Since I will never be on an iceberg, I will stick to my “scotch on the rocks”, and could care less if “rocks in the scotch” is a thing. I don’t want to confuse the bartender.

Having actually done this, I can confirm that the correct term is “precariously onto”.

@anchorman it might interest you to know that glacial ice makes a crackling noise as it melts in scotch. It’s quite a nice sound, almost mesmerizing, and makes you bring your glass up to your ear. Back when I figured this out, some guy told me that all the coolest night clubs in Tokyo buy glacial ice at exorbitant cost, as this effect is apparently essential in that market segment.

You get the same effect but much cheaper by using Rice Krispies.

Seems like a marketing ploy for patrons in the night clubs which must have lacked the wealth of engineering talent in Japan. The engineer would have said, “you so funny, thermal stress, works with any water you freeze and pour drink on - you pay way too much for drink”.

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Thanks but I usually avoid melting rice krispies in my scotch :face_vomiting:

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To clarify, the water must be frozen under tremendous pressure to get this effect. I did consider a technological solution, but if it was easy, such ice would be commonplace.

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Not exactly.
Glacier ice is not just frozen water, but compressed snow, where the snow is always a mixture of water and air. Every fresh snow on top augments the compression below, until the incompressible water becomes ice and the compressible air volume is reduced to quasi nothing. When melting the ice, the air particles expand explosively.

Scientists use this air to determine the composition of the atmosphere some 100’000 years ago…


One winter I had a piece of glacial ice as a door stopper and sometimes went outside with a knife to chip off a block for my scotch.


2 sha’…

Maybe ask one of these guys…

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First, one disembarks the vessel to emberg the ice;
then, one disembergs the ice to embark etc…
Logical, innit?