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Sunday, October 28, 2007: Packing, Diving and Paul Airey
We spent all day organizing and packing up the significant amount of support material for our trip to New Harbor. This included 45 pounds of my dive gear - and that's not including the 43 pounds of lead or the 60 pounds of tank and regulators. We were suddenly aware of what everything weighed since each box had to be weighed and tagged for the helicopter flight. We had to decide what things we could do without - do we really need that big variable lab power supply or can we make do with something smaller and lighter?

Stacy and Mindy carry Stacy's lab cooler full of lab supplies for sample processing as well as the coring rack.


Bryan is thinking about what to pack and where to pack it...

Nick was ready to hang himself then realized we were late for dinner

This is SCINI in a box - our second system was assembled and tested, then we broke it down into the modular parts

All this stuff will fly WITH us to New Harbor on two Helicopter flights

Stacy, Bob and I are scheduled on a helo along with another scientist, a helo tech and the pilot. We have 900 pounds of gear going along with us in a Bell 212. This twin turbine, 1800 horsepower helo can carry 14 passengers or 4000 pounds of cargo. It burns almost 100 gallons per hour so we put everything we could on the Marble Point traverse which gets the equipment to a depot which is within 15 minutes by helo to New Harbor. We've been watching and hearing these guys take off and land since the helo pad is within view out our lab window - Tuesday will be our turn and I can't wait!

We didn't go diving today but we did have a dive meeting with the Diving Control Board for the USAP - Michael, Adam and Dive god Rob.

We discussed regulators, fins, training, equipment and tips for diving in these extreme conditions. Rob runs a great diving program here and is very well organized. The equipment is very old, very well maintained and very reliable. Thank you Rob!

Seals keep the ice hole open for us. This is what it looks like when they chew the ice to maintain a breathing hole.

Sunset at 2 am

The next day we went out to see Pegasus - the Navy plane that crash landed on the permanent ice runway which is now named after the plane. Though this is a Navy plane I wanted to get a picture of me holding an Air Force coin given to me by Paul Airey - the first chief master sergeant of the Air Force. The coin commemorates the Paul W. Airey NCO Academy - named after him. I met him while doing my Science Diver training under Mike Zinzser at Florida State University - Panama City. This guy is really amazing - he was an aerial gunner on B-24 bombers and did 28 combat missions during World War II. After he was forced to bail out of his flak-damaged aircraft, he was captured and became a prisoner of war in Germany from July 1944 to May 1945. The coin is a commemorative piece that he was kind enough to give me to bring along here.

Me holding the Paul W. Airey NCO Academy coin in front of Pegasus on the permanent ice


It's great, but i missed it....:(

Please check back in with us in October. We are building an enhanced SCINI that has better depth and imaging capabilities and will be back in McMurdo in October 2008

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This material is based on work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. ANT-0619622 ( Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.