Monday, December 15, 2008

WAIS - Dec 15, 2008 - Spruce

Name: Spruce Schoenemann

Date: 15 December 2008
Location: WAIS Field Camp (Science Rac Tent)
Time: late 11:50pm
Latitude: 79°28’1.2”S
Longitude: 112°5’6.0”W
Elevation: 1,759m
Temperature: -21°C
Wind speed: 3.5 kts
Visibility: -1.0 mile
Clouds: 7/10ths Strato Cumulus
Wind direction: 313°
Relative Humidity: 71%
Precipitation: None for 9 straight days
Animals: We could use a dog!
Breakfast: French Toast, Bacon, Maple Syrup, Raspberry Compote
Lunch: Tempeh Reuben Sandwiches and Peach Cobbler
Supper: Chicken Pot Pie and German Chocolate Cake, yummm!


Hello to all those of you who are following the WAIS Divide blog. This is my first go around at the blog. My name is Spruce Schoenemann, and yes I am named after a Blue Spruce. Vermont is my home state, but I’ve spent a number of years living and working in numerous places, most recently Boulder, CO. This is my first time to Antarctica and my first time as a core handler, or should I say, soon to be, as we have not yet drilled our first core. Today we were supposed to start drilling but we were foiled again due to some technical difficulties with the drill.

Today I awoke to a beautiful sunny day at WAIS, my tent was warm and I sleepily got ready for the day. This entailed putting on my wool long underwear, Carhartt work pants, fleece sweater, down jacket, hat, goggles, boots and gloves, and grabbing my daypack for all the rest of my necessary outerwear.

The favorite part of my day is blue-collar yoga after breakfast, which goes from 7:40-8:00am. It is a great way to start the day by working out all the kinks and stretching the sore muscles from leaning over ice core trays.

Most of the day we spent readying the Core Processing side of the arch. This included leveling and aligning the 1 meter buffer table, preparing the FED (Fluid Evacuation Device), and de-burring and cleaning ice core trays. To give you a sense of how many trays we have prepped, imagine if you lined up all the trays end-to-end, they would stretch the length of 7 football fields. That’s a lot of work!
Tonight the weather was absolutely perfect; clear and sunny with no wind. About 10 of us went outside to toss the disk and huck the nerf football. We played outside the galley for about an hour until are hands got cold. To wrap up the splendid evening, Logan, Tim, Bess and I went out beyond the ski-way to take photos of each other laying out (diving horizontally) for the Frisbee. We got some fantastic shots of our aerial leaps as well as our snowy crashes. It was even more entertaining looking at all the pictures afterward as we warmed up in the galley with hot cocoa.

Before I head to bed, I want to say hello and goodnight to my parents. I want to thank my wonderful girlfriend Mary for supporting me in my life’s journey, which has taken me far away to Antarctica for a few months. I am also thankful for all my great friends whom I look forward to seeing again when I return. Have a goodnight and stay warm!

Cheers,
Spruce

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