Ah! The day has arrived. Tomorrow morning I should be heli’ing with 2 volunteers onto ice island PII-Ba off of Lancaster sound. Someone was saying last night that it doesn’t get any more real than this. And with the equipment malfunctions I was dealing with then, I’d say it felt real, as well as really frantic.
But, things work out! Only because I have a computer programmer who performs miracles on occasion as a team member. The ground penetrating radar (gpr), a home made concosion of wires, transmitters, oscilloscopes, antennae and a HP Palmtop that was out of production literally before I was born, decided it didn’t want to collect any more data. It had enough.
So this gpr takes ice thickness measurements, which was pretty much the reason for me coming. I would still be able to set up ablation (surface melt) stakes and deploy beacons (for drift), but the thickness would be good for myself and the AUV team. Plus it can be compared with measurements from next summer.
In the end, after all tries at recuperation, miracle programmer from Iceland re-wrote the program on my laptop. It is amazing, he is amazing, I bought him a beer, and will continue to do so until we bring this ship into port.
And then there is the story about the beacons… but I won’t make you read about that too.
All in all, it should be really fun tomorrow! I’m trying to locate a beacon that has been placed on the island a year ago – white canister buried in snow within a 100 m radius. Easy! And then my actual experiments (and that is certainly what they are) will be done at the two ends of the 6 km long berg. Hopefully, things will go smoothly for the AUV team too. We tested out all of the sensors yesterday by lowering the torpedo over the side of the boat from the front deck on an A frame and slings, and everything was top notch then.
One funny bit – this is from the first night I was here and kept forgetting to write about, but I was just in the fridge so it reminded me. I was sitting with my new compatriots and the British/Icelander is eating something that I thought would be a tuna salad. Asking if it was good, he proceeded to tell me to try some. He didn’t know what it was, someone had told him and he forgot. So I tried it, said thanks but no thanks on having more. The guy next to us then lets me know that it is head cheese —- sheep’s brain! Oh man I kept my composure, but was quivering inside.
And on that note, ’til tomorrow!