Thur 28 April 2011 – Back on the ice

After our relatively slow day in the lab, today we were back out on the ice collecting another set of samples.  We returned to our ice camp that we had previously sampled on Tuesday.

Ice Camp, April 28, 2011

Although we were a little bit disorganized getting going, by a little after nine we were all loaded up and our convoy of snow machines and sleds left building #36.  By 9:45 am we were at or ice camp and hard at work sampling. It was a bit colder on the ice today, -17.3°C (~1°F) but it was a magnificent sunny day. The snow and ice were brilliant.

Snowscape

Our routine on the ice is now pretty well worked out. After getting all our gear unpacked and installing the generator and pump, the Yager group occupies their tent and begins sampling with the Niskin bottle (See earlier blog entry for description).

Meanwhile in the larger tent, the Bronk group get going filling-up theirmany incubation bottles and adding the various labeled nutrients.

Bronk group setting up an experiment on the ice.

When the Bronk group is finished, Zac and I begin to collect our water samples using the pump. The carboys are then placed in coolers and packed with snow. Then as quickly as possible we load everything back on the sleds and head back to filter all our water.

As I’ve mentioned before in this blog, in addition to the three science groups on this trip a middle school teacher and an artist have accompanied us. One of their objectives on this trip is to photograph under the ice and they both came equipped with a variety of cameras to do that.

Lollie Garay and Adriane Colburn posing with their under ice camera rig.

Today on the ice, they were hard at work with several cameras ready to deploy through the ice.  Working from an ice hole we drilled outside of the work tents, they deployed cameras to explore under the ice.

Under ice camera equipment.

I haven’t seen much of the footage yet, but the little bit I have seen is amazing.  Hopefully I’ll have some pictures to share later in the week and, as I mentioned before, Lollie is planning to post videos on the project website.

After returning to our labs and processing samples for the next 6 hours we were all exhausted.  Since Debbie and I had missed dinner at the cafeteria and can’t cook in our rooms at that Qkpik Nest “hotel,” we decided to go out to dinner at the Brower Café. Zac and two of our logistical support team (Faustine Mercer and Josh Bacon) joined us. Dinner was great (I had Mongolian Beef) and we were rewarded with a spectacular view of the night sun over the frozen ocean.

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