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December 31st, 2013
05:36 PM ET

High spirits stuck in ice at the bottom of the world

(CNN) - Researchers and reporters stranded on a ship stuck in the Antarctic rang in the new year in good spirits, despite being trapped by 10-foot thick ice for more than a week.

"Our message to everyone would be to have a happy new year. We had ours first. 2014's great. Come join us," said The Guardian's science correspondent Alok Jha.

The message for families and friends of the 74 members of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition is not to worry, "we're all very safe here," Jha told CNN's "The lead with Jake Tapper." "There's no imminent danger."

Indeed the situation hasn't chilled the group's spirits. Expedition leader Chris Turney and Jha have sent out Vine videos, smiling, joking, and telling everyone, "We're in the ice but Happy Christmas from the A.A.E.!"

"We're still here, stuck. Any passing ships, do pay us a visit!" "Brilliant!" Jha and Turney say in another.

Jha said they hope to be rescued in the "next few days." The helicopter sent to ferry them out can't land anywhere near the ship because of windy conditions, poor visibility, and clouds.

"We have been told to be ready to move on a couple hours' notice. We're waiting for the call over the P.A. Fingers crossed, before the weekend," said Jha.

Morale remains "very high" because "we're not in control of what's happening outside our ship," said Jha.

"The things we can control are our mood. And cabin fever hasn't set in. We have been out on the ice regularly, so we can get outside and take a walk, and see the ice up close, take pictures of penguins, all of that," said Jha.

Though the reporter did say every time they hear news that the ice breaker can't get through, it's been "slightly deflating."

Other ship members have done yoga, and practiced Spanish to pass the time.

"I'm mainly writing articles for The Guardian. If my bosses are hearing this, I'm not doing any yoga," said Jha, with a laugh.

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