6 June 2010

Today the new team arrived

Seen up close snowflakes are really beautiful
Although we have seen far too many this past week, up close snowflakes are really beautiful. These pictures are part of the collection Sepp is making for the study of physical properties of snow and ice.

Today the new team arrived. 19 left camp and 17 arrived. We are now 33 persons at NEEM. The plane arrived under, the almost proverbial, marginal conditions: Low clouds and poor contrast. But down the plane came with its load of spare parts, food and people; but try and guess whether it wanted to go up again? The pilots had to use 8 attempts before they got airborne, and in between these attempts, they had to go back to camp two times for extra fuel and to dump some of our cargo for Kangerlussuaq.

The whole operation lasted 4 hours from 12.00 to 16.00. Daiana put it this way: “If this had been a childbirth, it was performed with clamps”. The plane has made a big dent in our fuel supply. They took 5000 liter. This has to be added to the 3000 liter a previous plane took, so now we have a fuel deficit equivalent to more than total camp consumption in 3 weeks. We have already contacted our man in Kangerlussuaq, Lars, with a request to get more fuel up.

The pilots did not have an easy day. They had to fight cross wind on the skiway (the wind was perfectly aligned with the skiway before they came, and turned back along the skiway an hour after they left ,sic.) and an extremely high temperature of -4 °C . Normally, we would not call a plane when it is so warm. We have bad experiences operating at temperatures over -10 °C, but our forecast said from -15 °C in the morning to -8 °C  late afternoon, and we trusted this because -4 °C  in early June is very rare.

We wish the pilots a good rest tonight. It is very hard work to fight a Ski-Hercules into the air for so long.

What we have done today:
1. Drilling and logging.
2. Processed ice cores: 1 bag  3398.
3. Measuring CFA. Today we introduced the new team to the system. CFA will begin
  tomorrow morning at 4 AM.
4. Receiving Skier 71 (93).
5. Unpacking new supplies and food.
6. Meetings in different work groups to introduce new people to their tasks.

Ad.1: Drillers report:

Over the last three days we continued to work with the new 6 meter long hallow shaft.  In general chips transport is less than optimal, which hinders some runs.  Long runs are often followed by a series of short runs in part due to chips in the borehole.  Tuning of the cutting pitch also has been a delicate process as many attempts to find the sweet spot needed for stable drilling has been elusive. Similar to last season, a low cutting pitch seems to be necessary to complete 3.5 meter runs without reaching the current limit of the motors.  We target a pitch of less than 2.4 mm.  A final run just before Saturday’s dinner produced a 3.24 meter core with a pitch of about 1.6 mm, but with the loss of about 3 kg of the expected chip recovery.  For this run we returned to the configuration with an open hallow shaft and a closed valve just below the pump.  On the whole it was an encouraging sign before we say goodbye to Jakob, Steff, Jack, and Vasileios. We will work in this drilling mode (doing filter runs as necessary) over the next days while we get used to our new drilling teams.  The dudes abide….

Driller’s depth 1942.57 meters.  Logging depth: 1958.55 m

Weather: Broken thin, late afternoon becoming over cast. -15 °C  to -4 °C ,
5-17 knots from S and SSW. Visibility: unrestricted to ½ mile. In the afternoon snow.  It has become really warm.

FL, J.P. Steffensen

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