Monday, January 25, 2010

January 25: On the way to Rothera

Today we received permission from the National Science Foundation to proceed to Rothera, the British research station. From there I will get off the ship and rejoin the rest of the glaciology team who flew there by Twin Otter from the ice drill camp. We will then do our glaciology program on the southern side of the Larsen B via Twin Otter and plan to rejoin the ship in about two weeks. In the meantime, satellite images show that the sea ice on the east side is starting to break up, so the ship is going to take advantage of that and head towards the Larsen B, where we wanted to be in the first place.

The weather today was strange, as usual. First, we received a phone call from the drill camp. They had blue skies, but we had very low clouds. Then the weather cleared and I took off with somebody to start installing a GPS station on the ice. But by that time, the clouds had moved over the glaciers and, again, we had to return to the ship. Today's picture shows the ship from the helicopter in a spectacular setting.

As I write we are at 66 1' S and 66 1' W, headed for Rothera, which is at the southern tip of Adelaide Island. We'll be following a very narrow channel to get there, which is faster and protects us from the open ocean swell. It is beautiful now, and the scenery just doesn't stop to be impressive.

After tomorrow I probably will not have email access, so this blog is likely to go quiet for a while. I'll report once we rejoin the ship or the civilized world.

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