Originally Posted by xuare
Actually, I think those rocks are smaller and rounder than the pack ice would be. If you haven't seen the TopGear Artic Special you may want to watch it. They get stuck in the kraggy ice a couple times. It's also worth mentioning that the snow is deeper in the kraggy ice, covering up the obstacles. The thing is they also had patches where it was (comparatively) smooth.
There are places where the ice is relatively smooth - where the pack stays in one cohesive chunk many square miles in area. But anytime the ice is close to a landmass it is subject to strong currents that tend to break it apart then push it back together.
If you've ever been along some of the northern rivers, the ones that will have ice forming 3 or 4 feet thick during a normal winter, and seen how it looks as the ice begins to break up and flow downstream in the spring, piling up occasionally into huge jams - that will give you some idea of what sea ice in that area would be like. The weather, however, would be much, much worse, as springtime brings strong winds due to the temperature changing rather rapidly. The calmest time would be some of the most difficult - early winter, when the sun would not rise above the horizon. It gets light, but only briefly.