A grand and successful weekend (30 & 31.05.09) – University of Copenhagen

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31 May 2009

A grand and successful weekend (30 & 31.05.09)

A very rare occasion on the ice sheet: H.R.H. Crown Prince Haakon of
Norway, H.R.H. Crown princess Victoria of Sweden, ?NEEM princess? Sarah,
our cook, and H.R.H. Crown prince Frederik of Denmark.

A very rare occasion on the ice sheet: H.R.H. Crown Prince Haakon of Norway, H.R.H. Crown princess Victoria of Sweden, “NEEM princess” Sarah, our cook, and H.R.H. Crown prince Frederik of Denmark.

At 14:00 Saturday afternoon NEEM camp had an invasion. A group of 31 people visited the camp of which 18 spent Saturday night in camp. Camp population soared to 44 and the main dome was crowded. The camp was well prepared for the visit. The last few days were spent in preparation for the event. As the plane was flying to camp, the weather began playing tricks on us. Luckily, the plane made it in, and the event could begin. The group consisted of Scandinavian representatives of the International Polar Year (IPY) organizations and invited scientists from the U.S. and Canada; but most importantly the group also included the protectors of IPY in Norway, Sweden and Denmark: H.R.H. Crown prince Haakon of Norway, H.R.H. Crown princess Victoria of Sweden and H.R.H. Crown prince Frederik of Denmark. With such eminence present, the visit attracted the press, and the NEEM project got good publicity. After the official part of the visit was over, camp prepared for a Saturday night dinner and a delightful evening in the company of our guests. Camp crew and guest mingled in conversation and on the dance floor. The party ended early Sunday morning. Sunday morning, the plane arrived 10:45 to pick up our guests. Again weather was not the best, and as the U.S. Summit camp reported bad weather, the planned visit there was cancelled. At 12:10 the plane flew off to Kangerlussuaq, and everybody in camp crashed after the departure. Never has NEEM camp been as quiet as Sunday afternoon. Everybody felt exhausted but enriched by the visit. I wish to express my deepest gratitude to the field crew, who did an outstanding job to make this visit a success, to our guests, who showed sincere appreciation of our work and by their relaxed attitude made everybody feel comfortable and finally to the New York Air National Guard (the 109th) who made this visit possible.

What we have done in two days:

  1. Drilling.
  2. Logging ice cores. Depth 200 m.
  3. Preparing visit of Distinguished Visitors (DVs).
  4. Receiving Skier 02. A fortunate break in the weather permitted the plane to land.
  5. Unpacking food delivery and distributing into fresh store, and freezer (a snow cave).
  6. Cleaning up in camp.
  7. Arranged a tour of camp activities for our visitors.
  8. The 1259 AD volcanic eruption located in the ice core by ECM at 182.9 m depth.
  9. Celebrating Saturday night.

Ad.1: This is how the drillers report looks for Saturday: “A good day with the EPICA drill. Reducing the pitch to 3.2 mm produced four stable runs with core lengths of 2.5 meters. The final run was witnessed by more than 30 people crowded around the drill. Driller’s depth is 191.70.”

Weather: Overcast most of the day with few breaks, - 22 °C to -12 °C, 4-18 knots from SW.
Visibility: ½ km to 8 km. Snow squalls passed camp until evening.

FL, J.P. Steffensen

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