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Tuesday, November 6, 2007: SCINI goes to the Circus
I woke up early today to fuel the hotsy. It is like a hungry monster that always wants food. It cycles on and off, but it often seems that it cranks on as it is guzzling the diesel I pour in! Marcus had to get up early as well for his remote presentation in Key Largo, Florida with the Iridium satellite phone. Since he was up early, he made blueberry buckwheat pancakes for breakfast. My dad made sourdough buckwheat pancakes when I was a child, so the flavor of buckwheat is a special one for me!
Nicholas and Marcus are getting navigation hints over the Iridium phone at breakfast


Stacy and I did camp chores this morning. Chores, unfortunately, doesn’t mean doing dishes and sweeping. It means dragging the empty propane and fuel tanks to the back of the lab building and strapping them together, and rolling the heavier full propane and fuel tanks to the areas where they are used. It is hard work!

Then the helicopter came to pick up our empty propane canisters. Bob strapped the sling with the canisters in it to the hook on the underside of the helicopter. This is called a “hot lift”. When the rotors of the ‘copter are spinning, the noise you hear is the tips of the rotors breaking the sound barrier. The winds they generate are phenomenal, but the winds directly under the helicopter aren’t as strong so Bob could sling the load. He did get a shock though from the charge in the hook!
Bob doing a hot hook

Helicopter lifting off with twelve empty propane tanks in a sling

Today was SCINI’s turn to fly under the ice. There are four main sites we are working at, and Stacy has remarkably managed to find them all by her line-of-sight information. Now they are officially GPS’d which will make work for future research her much easier. Joe Pettit, from UNAVCO, taught Bryan the basic of GPS so he is able to mark sites that we didn’t have when Joe and Thomas Nylen were here.
Marcus holding SCINI before she goes under the ice

The four sites roughly make the shape of an “L” as you head out from land onto the frozen sea at New Harbor. The top of the “L” is “Deep” where we flew VideoRay on November 4th. The middle of the upright part of the “L” is “SideShow” where VideoRay mapped over 50 experimental sites (exclusion cages, long strings with floats at the top to keep them upright, and settling platforms). The bottom left of the “L” is Circus where SCINI took a dive today. And the bottom right of the “L” is Explorer’s Cover where the team is planning a human dive tomorrow to take photos and collect samples.
Bob and Marcus lower SCINI into the ten-inch hole in the sea ice

Today, we were able to use the polar haven (a.k.a. polar palace) as control center. This is the roomiest place we have had to work in, but everything is a strange color as the polar palace is bright red!
Bryan at the controls in the Polar Haven aka Polar Palace aka Polar Playground

The guys were so busy with getting SCINI ready that Stacy and I delivered a picnic lunch of turkey on Marcus’s homemade bread with gravy on top for lunch. There was even pumpkin pie for dessert! Notice Bryan's clean plate above.

SCINI flew until almost 11 pm when the guys finally came in for dinner and bed! Another long and fulfilling day at New Harbor...

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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.