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Photo Journal: Catching the drift

(Mainichi)

A tourist boat pushes its way through drift ice that has gathered in the sea, near to the city of Abashiri in Hokkaido on Jan. 31, 2017. According to the Abashiri Local Meteorological Office, Jan. 31 was the "first day of drift ice" -- the first day on which drift ice can be seen by the naked eye from land. This year, the "first day of drift ice" occurred three days later than in 2016, and 10 days later than average. The drift ice collected about 10 to 20 kilometers off the Okhotsk Coast -- with some ice gathering within 10 kilometers from the coast. In this photo here, the city-run tourist ship, The Aurora, is seen gliding through the bright white drift ice, to the joy of the passengers on board.

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