Friday, January 11, 2008

While you were out...

Well, after my short absence for the AGAP installation there were a few problems I had to troubleshoot with my other projects. We had one seismic station go offline because its data/power cable down in a sub-ice vault had been inadvertently disconnected when a visiting project member was working on their equipment that resides in the same insulated box. So, after some troubleshooting we finally got all that resolved, and things seem to be relatively back to normal. Murphy's Law is fully in effect down here on the Ice. You never know what sort of crazy things can manage to go wrong. There were a few other smaller things to take care of as well, but I won't bore you with the details.

Late last night we finally got in a couple Hercules flights. On one of them were the winterovers returning from their extended R&R in McMurdo. A big group of us sat up having a good time talking and laughing in the galley. It was a lot of fun, and I had to eventually tear myself away so I could get some shut-eye for today's gala event: the station dedication ceremony. There are a bunch of distinguished visitors (DVs) headed this direction all the way from Christchurch who will be taking part in the anointing of this fully armed and operational battle station...I mean science station. I'll fill you in on the shenanigans tomorrow.

A couple parting shots:

A meteorological station at AGAP that was right by the entrance to the freezer. Yes, it's cold and food could probably stay at its proper storage temperature without the use of mechanical refrigeration. But, with the heat from the sun on the boxes the food is stored it the internal temperature can put the food above its safe storage temperature. Just digging a hole in the snow and covering it can provide a means of protecting the food and keeping it out of that pesky sunlight. That angular white thing behind the met station is the freezer entrance. We had one of these storage spaces at the LDB camp last year, but it lacked the fancy upright door. Our doors were flush with the ground, which necessitated pretty regular digging as snow drifted over them. The flags were a must in both cases so people driving around would know not to go there, lest they fall in and crush all those tasty vittles. Just to the right of the rightmost flag you can barely make out the LPM tower off in the distance.

Our Twin Otter on approach to the AGAP landing strip. There's really not much of a gentle final approach when they're landing on a ski-way like this one. It seemed like we got relatively close to the snow and they dropped us straight down onto the surface. It was pretty impressive how quickly we got off the ground on the way out, despite all the friction from the deep snow the skis had to cut through.


AaroN said...

I read "tasty vittles" with a hint of sarcasm as I suspect it was intended. ;)

Ginger Becker said...

Hey There!
I am standing here with your dad and he has just helped me get on google so I can have the luxuary of responding to you instead of just reading what the others have to say.
It is a balmy 5o degrees out today. I will NOW keep in touch! Mrs. B

Ginger Becker said...

I spelled luxury incorrectly...that always bugs me when I read misspelled words!
Mrs. B

EthanG said...

Actually the vittles were quite good out at the field camp. You don't get loads of fresh fruit and veg, but everything else was just fine. In general, the food down here is really good.

Hi Mr.s B, welcome to the adventure!