Field Update: Dec. 9, 2010

The weather is good, so Bob, Ethan and I board the Kiwi helo for our trip to Coulman High with Rob the pilot. I’m sitting in the back – not much to see.

The flight is uneventful, but a bit windy. There is a haze over the ice surface that makes it hard to see features below. We can’t see the camp until we get pretty close, but then we land and rejoin the group. It’s good to be home.

Bob, Ethan and I are briefed by Tamsin, who explains the camp’s standard operating procedures, environmental policies and potential hazards. Then we take a tour of the various containers to familiarize ourselves to the layout. It’s much the same as it was at Sites #1 and #2, but there are small differences. There are more tents now due to the larger numbers of people and there is quite a bit of snow drifted around the containers due to the winds they experienced before we arrived. The D6 tractors are plowing the snow out of the way and flattening out the main areas of the camp so people can walk around without having to wade through the drifted snow.

The next hole has been melted through the ice at this new site and the camera, CTD and gravity corer are being deployed one after the other. The plan is to do round the clock CTD transits through the water column below the ice down to the seafloor and back up again for 28 hours and then do it again a week later to catch a different part of the tidal cycle. People are working in shifts to accomplish this by operating the winch winding the rope down and back up again while reading the tension meter attached to the block and looking for tape markings on the cable indicating distance.

Gary, Daniel and Chris have taken the snow machines to conduct the gravity survey to the north, where we had flagged the lines earlier in the season, and Robin, Daren and Graham were preparing the Pisten Bully to tow the shot hole drill north to begin the process of melting 35-40 meter-deep holes in the ice for the seismic experiment. Each hole would have explosive charges placed in them by Ethan, who was certified for these kinds of operations. With plenty to do and see around camp we were ready to get started – but first, it was time to sample Russell’s fine food in the galley!! Wow, it doesn’t get better than this – thanks Rusty!

Previous Update | Next Update | All News