Thursday, February 02, 2006

2-2-06 Ice crack

Part of our group took a trip out to a crack in the ice about seven miles north of McMurdo Station today. We went out there to make a few CTD casts and measure the UV light environment under the ice. We got to take a quick helicopter flight out to the site, and then we spent three hours taking measurements and fooling around. Most of the time was spent on the latter activities.

Part of our crew checked the ice thickness around the hole by drilling through to the seawater. Much like our site back at McMurdo, the ice here is very thick. They finally broke through the bottom of the ice just as they were running out of drill shaft at the top of this longdrill.

The wind was up, so we spent a good chunk of time building a windshelter wall. The excercise of making the wall certainly helped keep those of us building the wall plenty warm.

Feeling pretty smug about the wall:

Mount Erebus was doing its normal smoking routine all afternoon.

Back at the station, instead of the fuel tanker pulling in, the cargo ship has tied up to the dock. Apparently the fuel tanker is stuck further back in the channel, so the supply ship pulled in. This begins the start of vessel week, when they stop selling alcohol in the shop and close the bars. The offload and reload of the cargo ship takes about six days of 24hr-a-day work once it gets started.

The majority of the class takes off tomorrow afternoon, leaving 5 TA's and one instructor to deal with the storage and returning of labequipment to the storeroom. Hopefully we can squeeze one more snowmobile trip in there somewhere.