Friday, December 26, 2008

WAIS - Dec 26, 2008 - John

Name: John Fegyveresi

Date: 26 December 2008
Location: WAIS Field Camp (Science Rac Tent)
Time: 2200
Latitude: 79°28’1.2”S
Longitude: 112°5’6.0”W
Elevation: 1,759m
Temperature: 17°C
Wind speed: calm
Visibility: Unrestricted
Wind direction:
Relative Humidity: 70%
Precipitation: None
Animals: Just the halibut we ate for dinner…
Breakfast: Pancakes, bacon, cereal, etc
Lunch: Quinoa medley, mushroom soup, rice, etc
Supper: Halibut, rice pilaf, and freshies! (fresh fruits and veggies)

Hey everyone. It’s John again. I think I last updated a week ago. Christmas has come and gone and it’s back to the “grind” again. We started up full bore with three shifts last night and are right back into the ice-coring rhythm again. Today when I left the Arch, we had already made it to 730 meters. With the help of the drillers making some modifications on their end, we’ve been able to consistently pull up 2.5 meters every run without issue. We’ve also had no major ice core breaks (yet).

Back home in the States, it was actually Christmas today…so several of us here made some satellite phone calls back home to friends and family. It’s still hard to believe that I can pick up what looks like a large cell phone, and simply dial up my sister who is thousands of miles away in upstate New York and talk to her as if she were just down the street. It was definitely nice to check in with people on Christmas. I know everyone here was really happy that the satellite phone was working.

As far as my own projects….Well, I have been continuing to look at chips and chip fragments from the coring runs to see if I can help the drillers get more efficiency out of the drill. I’ve also been continuing to take and analyze samples from my snow pit that we all dug two weeks ago. Mostly though, I’ve been helping out on the DEP machine. It’s a time consuming station to work at, and unlike the other handling stations, you don’t move around much there. This means you get colder a lot quicker. I am definitely glad that I’ve been able to help, but I have to make sure to take ample warming breaks. My ultimate science goal for this trip is of course to get some samples of ice to make bubble, sections from. I use bubble sections as a part of my graduate school research…so the more I can get, the better my data and findings will be.

On a side note we had a strange occurrence here at camp today. There have been several people that have been waiting to leave (and a few stuck in McMurdo trying to get here) but the flights have been cancelled 4 times. Finally….today….we welcomed the first flight in over a week. All of the new guys got off, and the 3 waiting to leave WAIS got ready to board the aircraft for a takeoff about an hour later. It was then, that we got word that weather all over Antarctica would be terrible tonight except for here at WAIS. So, something that hardly ever happens…..happened: The return flight back to McMurdo was cancelled. The 6 military flight crew of the LC-130 are now stuck here overnight and the plane is sitting out on the ski-way completely shut down. The pilot told us that in 11 years of flying Antarctic missions, he has never been stuck at a field camp….until now! Of course for us…this was exciting. Some of the science crew decided to give them all a tour of the ice core arch and give them the lowdown on what we do here. We also have an extra building here at camp for pilots to sleep in…just in case something like this happens. As of right now the weather here is beautiful, so in my opinion they are all getting a nice relaxing night here at camp. The new return flight is now scheduled for 7 am tomorrow, so they will probably go to bed very soon.

So that’s about it for today. Merry Christmas to everyone back home and thanks again for keeping up on our little adventure down here! -john

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