Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Sea ice training

Despite all the other exciting stuff happening on base, I couldn’t wait for the sea ice to come in! Once it was here and we were not able to do boating again, the waiting game started. The ice has to be here for a certain amount of time and has to have survived quite substantial wind before our field assistants get permission to go and test the ice. But finally the day was there and the ice was thick enough to enter! Once we had a calm day, we were taken onto the ice to complete our sea ice training after which we would be allowed on it without a field assistant to go diving and maybe eventually CTDing. So far, only the North/Hangar Cove side is frozen enough to enter. We entered the ice on one side. There is a tide crack visual where the ice connects to the shore and the ice moves up and down with the ice (silly me always thought that once the ice is there and solid it wouldn’t move anymore ...). We all went on with skis for the first time and wandered away from the shore for a good couple of hundred metres. Every 50-100 meters we tested the ice which involves drilling a small hole, measuring the thickness of the ice (mostly around 35cm) and recording the point by taking the GPS. Once we got back from our tour, only the most fun bit was left to do: we had to proof that we would be able to climb out of a hole in the ice in case we break in. With our more or less sealed boating suits, attached to a line we jumped into a pre-cut hole and it was so much fun (the closest I have gotten to swimming since I have been here, apart from diving ... hence why I obviously had to jump in a second time before we went back home). Now, we are allowed on the ice, so the diving through it can finally begin!!! More about those adventures later.

Just before entering the ice.

Boring the hole.

Measuring the dephts of the ice with the highly technical measuring device.

Icebergs trapped in the ice ...
Penguin footsteps in the snow: Someone must have been here before us ... 
I tried calling, but did not receive an answer ...

BIG JUMP (Photo: Pete Webster)
No it's not cold ... And no, no water is running down despite the neck seal ... (Photo: Pete Webster)

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