Current temperature: -10C
Food: Today’s brown bag lunch consisted of a hunk of steak and some potatoes. Hot chocolate helped wash it down. Dinner had a Thai flavor to it: fresh salad, chicken and shrimp curry (“Chou Chee”) over coconut rice, and cranberry’n’pear torte! Yum! (Rosemary is fantastic, as you might imagine).
Let’s, for a moment, assume that the bandwidth at Summit Camp is not terribly conducive for pictures or movies. That said, I just shot a time-lapse of the drilling ops and got a sweet segment with my supervisor dancing in a tyvek suit. I promise to post this soon, haha!
Okay … I’m typing this as two scientists from Norway watch “The World’s Fastest Indian” – a great mix of Anthony Hopkins’ Kiwi mixed with their Norwegian. Today has been a fantastic day … for starters, Zach Luna joined our motley drill crew (Zoe, Terry, Bob and I). Trip times for the drill took longer, but we still managed to extract 20 meters of core. What I’m learning first-hand is drilling is an art. You are constantly monitoring the quality of the core, adjusting cutter speed and penetration speed accordingly.
I also got to play “driller assistant” instead of “ice core processing ninja”. There is a lot of verbalization between the assistant and the driller (Terry). “Bore hole cover on”, “ready for reverse” (when the driller reverses the drill direction to clear any ice chips from the assembly), “ready for trench” (lowering the assembly into a slot so that you can separate the core barrel from the drill assembly), “pin is clear”, “slip ring spins”, etc. Its like a spoken dance.
With Zach assisting at the site, Zoe and I decided to collect snowpit data – a 1 meter pit. We took NIR photos of the pit wall for stratigraphy, sampled at 10 cm resolution for snow chemistry (to be analyzed in the States), and took density measurements (also at 10 cm resolution). I also collected surface snow (top 5 cm of snow) in preparation for a melt percolation experiment.
The camp has shrunk in the past couple days – 3 left yesterday and 15 left today. We are down to 25 folks on station (if the manifest is correct), and the change is immediately palpable. The place feels cozier, and more intimate. Amongst the people that left was CMDR, an incredibly AWESOME carpenter that I met years ago while working at McMurdo Station. “Wwoofff!”
Its now 2300 and I’m watching a “thin” snow fall across Summit Camp. Zoe, who is assistant “house mouse” tonight is folding the tea towels and aprons. We’re waiting on Zach who left about an hour ago to gather data from SAT Camp. Two other folks (Sanja and Patrick) are checking their email and Brad is eating a midnight snack. Although its time for bed, I still need to figure out how I will “apply” melt to the surface. Cheers!