Hello from Thule. Wait, why are we in Thule?? I thought we were supposed to be up on the ice?
Yes, it’s true, we’re still in Thule. We showed up at the Air Greenland hanger bright and early yesterday morning, ready to go for a week up on the ice sheet, only to be met with high winds that prevented us from flying. The winds along the ice sheet margin were around 40 knots, and the pilot suspected up to 50 knots over the ice. Winds make helicopter flying difficult in general, but they’re an especially big problem for us since we’ll be carrying so much cargo and the helicopter will be so heavy. In fact, according to the pilot’s calculations, we’ll only have three minutes (yes, that’s three (3) minutes!!) worth of extra fuel, assuming ideal conditions. And unfortunately, today’s weather was far from ideal, so it seems like we’re grounded until the morning of the 7th.
Luggage carts loaded up and ready to go
Fortunately, we have plenty to keep busy with around Thule. We’re planning on doing some work around the ice margin today, including looking for organic matter protruding from the ice sheet (for radiocarbon dating), and collecting some bedrock and boulder samples for cosmogenic nuclide dating. It should be a fun day for driving around in the truck and exploring.
Hopefully we’ll fly out to the ice on the morning of the 7th… keep your fingers crossed for sunny skies and calm winds!