Thursday, January 8, 2009

WAIS - Jan. 8, 2009 - Spruce

Name: Spruce Schoenemann

Date: January 8, 2009
Location: Science RAC Tent, WAIS Divide
Time: Actually 0400 on Friday (end of my day)
Latitude: 79° 28’ 1.2” S
Longitude: 112° 5’ 6.0” W
Elevation: 1,759 m
Borehole depth: ~1111m
Temperature: -16.8°C
Wind speed: 8.1 knots
Visibility: far and wide
Wind direction: 048° Grid
Relative Humidity: 74%
Barometric Pressure: 28.98 mm Hg
Precipitation: The drips of melting ice off my beard
Clouds: Blue sky to the horizon
Animals: I miss my dog, Titan
Breakfast: (Asleep)
Lunch: (Asleep) My breakfast was at 2pm: Grapenuts Cereal, Coffee, Cookies
Supper: Beef & Tempeh Stroganoff, Noodles, Green beans, Lemon Pudding Cake
Midrats: Pot Roast and Rice

Today it finally cleared! The wind is calm, the humidity is low, and the sun is out! There is no more flat light concealing the drifts on the walk from tent city to camp. It can be a clumsy walk when you can’t see a foot high drift right in front of you.

So what’s it like to live in a community with people working 24 hours around the clock? While everyone is winding up their day, I am just getting started. My breakfast usually occurs at 2pm, four hours before everyone’s dinner. By the time I get off shift at 11:30pm, the rest of camp has gone to bed. Tonight I enjoyed my “dinner” with the rest of the folks on my shift, which includes Tim, Tanner, Bill, and Patrick. We have formed our own smaller community within the larger community of WAIS Divide. Although we tend to miss many of the daily activities, we like to make our own fun.

Tonight we went out into the beautiful calm and sunny evening to work on a half built igloo that had been started yesterday. I was super excited to work on the igloo since I have never built one. Anais left us a note with the basic guidelines and we just went at it. We started on the next tier of blocks. The blocks slowly spiral upward, with each block supporting the next, and the angle of their slope gently increasing. Patrick and I stood in the middle to hold up the blocks while Tim and Bill quarried and shaped the blocks. We used an extremely technical measuring device (1.5m rope tied to a post in the center of the igloo) to measure the proper angle and slope of each block. After completing one tier, we needed to stop to let the blocks set up and seat themselves before increasing the angle to nearly horizontal.

And now the day is already over. It is hard to believe how quickly the days go by here at WAIS Divide. I have made a list of all the things I want to do before I leave, and time is running out. Only two and half weeks! Some of the things on my list include getting pictures out at the triple walled backlit snowpit, go cross country skiing on the ski-way, make a photo journal following the day in the life of a core handler, sew on a WAIS Divide patch to my jacket, and sled on the massive berms used for putting up camp in the winter.

Cheers from down under!

1 comment:

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