29 April 2010

Camp opens at a quick pace


Red dome and main dome in snow drifts. It is hard to imagine that the red dome was built on a 2 m snow hill two years ago. Note the person on the right for size comparison

Last night we went to bed with electrical power from the main generator and central heating active. This morning snow began to melt on the ground floor, a sure indication that main dome temperatures were above freezing.

Today we also got the water system for drinking water activated. Sverrir has been driving big snow machine, the Pistenbully, all day removing snow drifts around the main dome, and a large work gang excavated roof of the entrance section of the drill trench. Later they erected the white weatherport over the entrance and gained access to the drill and science trench. Another group opened the entrance over the core storage.

Our cook Sarah has been busy getting an overview of where the food is stashed, and at the same time cooking good food for us. Our two ”guests”, Joe and Jay, are still waiting for their Twin Otter aircraft to show up; but in the mean time, they do their share of work in camp.

What we have done today:

1. Gaining access to the trenches. They are in good shape.
2. Activating the cooks snowmelter for drinking water supply.
3. Central heating in main dome working. Temperature on first floor 10 C
and in cupola 15 °C.
4. Ali mounted new lid on main snow melter.
5. Removing snow drifts around main dome.
6. Lifting empty drums up to surface in cargo line.
7. Iridium based internet connection now working.
8. HF radio connection works perfectly.
9. Erecting white Weatherport over elevator and stair case.

Ad.1:  The wall over the connecting tunnel in drill trench is slumping. This caused the roof over the drill trench to sink a bit faster than anticipated. There is still clearance for the drill tower; but only enough to last this season. If we switch to the HT drill for operations next
year, the tower may be shortened.

Weather: Thin scattered overcast to blue sky, - 26 °C to -22 °C, 8-12 knots
from SSE. Visibility: unrestricted.

FL, J.P. Steffensen

The NEEM camp seen from the aircraft when flying into camp
The first glance at NEEM camp from the air as we flew in yesterday.


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