December 14, 2008
We made significant progress this week. The weather has been mostly calm and clear, so camp has been able to catch up on removing the drifts. ICDS lowered the drill to the bottom of the hole with no noteworthy equipment problems. The fluid level in the hole was still above the pore close off depth at the same depth as last year thanks to the ICDS design of sealing the ice/casing contact using O-rings. The cooling system in the core processing area has brought the air temperature down to -30 C, which will be great for minimizing the thermal stress on the brittle ice, however it does come at the cost of significant thermal, noise, and wind shock on the core processing crew. We have been conducting training on the core processing and drilling procedures, and we had an accident response drill that included three simulated victims. We are all set to start drilling and hoping to recover our first core on Monday.