Friday, January 2, 2009

WAIS - Jan 2, 2008 - John

Name: John Fegyveresi

Date: 1/2/2009
Location: WAIS Divide Rec Tent
Time: 9:39 pm
Latitude: 79° 28’ 1.2” S
Longitude: 112° 5’ 6.0” W
Elevation: 1,759 m
Borehole depth: 930 m
Temperature: -22° C
Wind speed: 5-8 knots
Visibility: < 1 mile and foggy
Wind direction: 335°
Relative Humidity: 71%
Barometric Pressure: 28.83 mm Hg
Precipitation: None
Breakfast: Pancakes, cereal, and coffee
Lunch: Lamb soup, veggies, and a few other things I can’t remember
Supper: Bread, shrimp rice, pasta/garlic medley

Hello again everyone. It’s John again blogging from one of the public computers over in the Recreation tent here at WAIS divide. First major order of business today and news worth mentioning: Happy Birthday Logan!

That’s right…today is Logan’s 28th birthday (or 4th birthday in dog years). Of course back home in the States, it still isn’t quite his birthday yet, so make sure to open your window, pop your head out, and shout “Happy Birthday” for Logan…..if the wind is right…we all just might hear you ?

Today was our first official work day of 2009. We hit quite a few small snags today with the drilling. No major problems, but it did mean that we were only able to pull up about 20 meters as opposed to our usual 35-40. Tomorrow I’ll be jumping in with Gifford on first shift as a substitute core handler. Bess hasn’t been feeling too well and the group down here feels it’s better if she just takes it easy for an extra day so that she can heal up. It’s been a while now since I’ve done some core handling, so it will be a nice change. It will be a lot of fun working with Gifford too.

We had a last minute flight that came in today. It was originally scheduled as a “Backup Flight” but was later upgraded. Basically, if a flight is labeled as “Backup”…it means that it is set to fly somewhere else first: like South Pole. If, however, the weather turns sour at South Pole, we would be the backup and it would fly here instead. In this case though, it was simply upgraded to a Primary flight…to a lot of people’s surprise. We had 5 people leave camp today, and only one new person arrive (Dave – Mechanic). 5 people leaving doesn’t sound like a lot, but when the camp population drops from 45 to 40, it is actually quite a noticeable difference. The flight came in at about noon, and was off again by 1:00. Several of us got great video clips of it leaving.

Later tonight, fellow core handler Susanne, gave us all a great science talk on her involvement with the North GRIP project a few years ago. This project went from 1996 to 2004 up in central Greenland and is in many respects similar to the project here at WAIS Divide. The ice core drilled at NGRIP is often considered the “sister” core to the one we are drilling. The annual snowfall and temperatures in North-Central Greenland and at WAIS Divide are very similar. It will be very interesting to compare both cores once we are done here at WAIS and see how Northern and Southern Hemisphere climates compare over the past 100,000 years.

Well, we have roughly 19 days of drilling left here at WAIS and we are still looking to be on schedule for hitting a depth of 1500 meters. Everyone is starting to think a little bit about the voyage home from here. A lot of us here are planning a few weeks to travel and hike around in New Zealand. There are hundreds of amazing trails and places to see there. Because many of the people here at camp were here last year, they are able to offer some great insight to which places are the best to see in New Zealand. I know I can’t wait to do some of the great hikes there.

Thanks again for keeping up on our adventure…and I’ll write again next
week! -john

No comments: