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Setting Up the Ice Camp

01/25/2011, 12:00 AM by Lollie Garay
Setting up the ice Camp Tents<br/><br/>Credit: Tara Connelly
Setting up the ice Camp Tents
Photo Credit: Tara Connelly

Jan 25

Temp: -27 ° F (32.8° C)

Wind chill: -32.1° F (35.6° C)

The day began with a science meeting to plan the trip out onto the ice. It was decided that only a small group made up of UMIAQ staff and two representatives from the science team would go. Russell (UMIAQ Project Coordinator) reported a small crack in the ice that is being monitored. There is also evidence that the pressure ridge is getting taller, indicating ice movement. Remember that although the ocean is frozen at the surface, currents under the ice continue to move. It was agreed that ice conditions would be monitored closely by the UMIAQ as the team worked and that if needed, work would cease immediately.

Around mid-day, the group assembled and after a briefing on how to operate the snowmobiles, they headed out. The 1.3-mile trail only takes about 10-15 minutes of travel, but setting up the tents, generators, and drilling the sampling holes ended up taking about 3 hours.

Those of us that stayed behind spent the day unpacking and setting up the labs.

It was a successful day and now we're ready for the entire science team to mobilize for the first day of sampling tomorrow.

On the personal side of things, last night was hectic yet fun. Four more members of the science team arrived: Tara (Yager team) and Rachel, Quinn, and Steven (Bronk Team). The small Barrow airport was filled to capacity and tons of luggage so it took quite awhile to gather everyone up. Zac, Marc and I took turns watching the trucks outside because you can't turn them off (they might freeze up) and you can't leave them unattended. We finally loaded everyone and their belongings in the two trucks and headed "home".

As we were driving someone asked if anyone had seen the Northern Lights yet. I happened to look out the window, and lo and behold they were dancing in the sky! We stopped the truck to look. They were very faint but definitely auroras! Much later in the night they were even more pronounced but we were too busy hauling water to attempt a picture. Why?

Upon our return from the airport, we had discovered that the women's hut had run out of water! We have a large tank in a hallway that is filled when emptied because we are not connected to the city water supply. The Water Services comes and fills it with a large hose connected to a water tank on a truck. With five of us sharing the "hut", we will have to have it filled up daily to meet the needs of showering, cooking, etc. But last night, we had to gather up buckets and drive out to get water. Russell and Marc drove us over to the ----building where we filled 3-10 gallon buckets. It was not enough for showers, but we could accomplish other things like hand washing, grooming, and flushing toilets!

It's late now, and even as I finish this up, others are still working in the lab to prepare for tomorrow. Rachel cooked a great squash & curry dish tonight for all of us before they headed back to work, and Steven shared a tasty poppy cake he had baked earlier. It was a good warm meal served family style that nourished not only the body, but also the spirit!

Tomorrow's another day!

Lollie

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