8 May 2008

We dig and receive the second plane at NEEM this year

The empty plane just before departure at NEEM.

The empty plane just before departure at NEEM. Photo: Jim Hedfors, NEEM team.

Most people slept in, except the weatherman who had to report weather to Kangerlussuaq from 6:00.

The second plane to NEEM departed Kangerlussuaq at 8:34, and it arrived in camp 11:25. Since there were no passengers, the cargo was drifted close to camp, and the plane departed for Thule AB at 12:00, using 1/2 skiway and ATO rockets.

Weather was ideal for flight operations but a bit snippy for outside work:
Blue sky, -30°C, 7.5 m/s wind from 170 Magnetic (which is straight down the skiway) and good visibility.

Everybody was feeling the effect of yesterday’s hard work; but physical labour proved to be the best way to stay warm and to make the body adapt to the cold environment. Nobody has had any altitude effects. We discussed this, and most likely the altitude difference of 450 m between NGRIP (2930m) and NEEM (2480 M) makes a big difference.

Inside the kitchen tent we had problems with the cold. Due to the added humidity from human activity, the melting of snow for drinking and soup, and coffee making, frost condensed everywhere. We therefore did not attempt to switch on electronic equipment except for the hand held Iridium phone and the HF radio. At 19:00 the condensation problems were going away, and we could spend the evening meal (pizza and bread) at +6°C at table top level.

In the evening the crew went through the list of tasks which had to be completed before the arrival of the next plane on Tuesday. The list is long, but it is possible to complete the tasks.

What we have done today:

  1. Using survey equipment, we marked up positions of all future NEEM camp structures.
  2. We began re-flagging the skiway to meet the 109th standards for skiway marking.
  3. The other tracked vehicle was started and pulled to surface.
  4. The second diesel generator was started, and we now have 10 kW power in camp.

Field Leader, J.P. Steffensen

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