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Last Day of Sampling at Ice Camp

01/31/2011, 2:26 PM by Lollie Garay
The sun appears on the horizon as work is finished.<br/><br/>Credit: Lollie Garay
The sun appears on the horizon as work is finished.
Photo Credit: Lollie Garay

Jan 30

Temp: 8.1F (-13.3C)

Wind Chill: -4F

The temperature here keeps surprising us everyday. We started the day with relatively mild temps that ended with a high of 12° F ((-11C) by midday. When we set out around 11AM, a thick freezing fog that had settled in overnight blanketed us. Visibility was very limited and there was earlier concern that we might not get to go out, but we did. It was another surrealistic experience as the skidoos cut through the fog to get to the camp. I was wondering as we rode how one might see a polar bear in that whiteout! I also tried to get a couple of pictures but the camera iced up quickly so I tucked it away to save it for later.

Once there, sleds were quickly unloaded and the work began. The heavy outerwear used for riding out to the sampling site was shed as soon as we got into the tents. In fact, it was so warm inside that we had to open the tent flap to allow cool air in! Quite a difference from the first day when our breath fogged the tents and everything froze!

Sample collection went well and we finished even earlier than we did on the previous trip out. With help from Tony, I prepared the underwater camera I had brought to see what was under the ice. Jerry Whiting (NARS, Houston) had constructed a pole made of copper piping to lower it into the ice hole. I had made last minute changes in the equipment I brought, so I was not completely sure this would work- and it didn't. The camera shut off before it was even submerged. Back to the drawing board! Tish had about the same success with a light meter she was trying to get readings on. We tried inside and outside of the tent, but the meter wouldn't work. Aside from this, everything else was accomplished efficiently in record time. Later we would reflect on how supportive the UMIAQ team had been, contributing to the overall success of the sampling!

This was the last day sampling out on the ice. The next fieldwork will be done in April. Later in the evening after filtering and lab work, we gathered in the hut for a celebratory homemade chicken soup dinner :)


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