November 22, 2005
Oy. Digging a pit at this location was a chore. This ice is very hard. The crystals are large, and it is much more dense than the ice at most of the other sites. Digging a full two meters took a full day, which is unusual, and sampling also took longer than normal. Tomorrow, I will do the small amount of sampling which I did not complete today, and start radar. This glacier takes some work! Sara went back to McMurdo yesterday, so we are back to 5, but she baked us a great pie for the lunch before she left. Can't beat a great pie for lunch. My camera is broken! Photos in short supply for this site.
November 25, 2005
The radar was indeed a struggle, but we got great data! The bottom at this site appears to be about half as deep as the bottom at the Clark Glacier and is very well defined. We might actually be able to drill to the bottom, because drilling is moving very well, with pieces coming up slightly less than a meter at a time. Meanwhile, we are enjoying lots of cookies, as our food resupply for the Victoria includes more cookies than we were expecting. No complaints.
November 30, 2005
Here we are back at McMurdo! We returned to town yesterday, after quite a successful season, all told. We finished drilling core on Saturday (the 26th), and got some video of the coring process during the last couple of days. We didn't go to the bottom, but probably came close. On Sunday, we had high winds in the morning (gusts of 50 knots), which kept us in the tent, but it calmed down again nicely in the afternoon. During the whole "storm", there was blue sky overhead, but when the wind is blowing that hard, it keeps us inside. This made Sunday a slow day, with lots of good food and time for resting and regaining strength. Monday, the winds kept acting like they might kick up again (though they never actually did), and we used the day for cooking a great meal for Karl's birthday. There's nothing like a gingerbread cake with homemade orange-butter- cream frosting after a solid week of work. We also finished breaking down the drill and packing all of the other science gear to be ready to go yesterday. Finally, yesterday we broke down our camp gear, though when the helicopter came, we still had our cook/dining tent standing. Unfortunately, the winds were gusting strongly enough that when we went to help the helicopter load, our tent was blown down, and our lunch (delicious marinated chicken breasts) was spread throughout the tent. The next people to have this tent will be able to smell our last meal and imagine our food quite well, I'm sure! No major catastrophes, however, and we are now busily storing all of our gear so that we will be ready to leave the continent in a week or so. We are waiting for the last of our loads from the glacier, however, as not everything traveled with us. Some of the cargo nets were left there for the helicopters to go back and bring to town in a day or so. So as in the beginning of the season, we wait...