The busy-ness (ha!) continues. Our days have been filled with work this week, which is always welcome down here. Things can get boring pretty quickly if there isn’t any work to do. I’m squeezing in this blog post so I can keep up with the work that we’ve been doing. If I wait too much longer, this information will be too old to post!
This past Monday, 27 January (Lee and I both agree that that feels WAY longer than 2 days ago), we flew by helo to Ferrell (install freewave transmission) and Lorne AWS (station check up). It was a relatively easy day for fieldwork.
We arrived at Ferrell, and the first thing we needed to do was install the freewave antenna.
When installing the antenna, we needed to make sure it was angled slightly away from the surface so it could hit White Island AWS. Ferrell AWS was beginning to lean, so mounting the antenna with a normal bracket caused the antenna to point into the ground. We brought a bracket in which we could angle the antenna correctly and got it installed.
We verified the freewave transmissions were working and hopped on the helo to go check on Lorne AWS (the helo stayed on site with us as we did our work).
We were unsure whether Lorne AWS needed to be raised or not. To our delight, the station height looked good, so all we really needed to do was remeasure the instrument heights.
Once that work was done, we could head back to McMurdo. Piece of cake! One advantage to doing helo trips is they’re (inherently) quicker than Otter trips, so it doesn’t take an entire day to do a couple stations’ work. On Monday, we left McMurdo at around 9:15 am and returned around 3 pm. When we did return, we spotted some welcome visitors on some ice offshore!
A digression: Good news arrived to McMurdo the night prior (Sunday 26 January) in the form of John, Melissa and Suz (if you’re keeping track at home, Ben the Kiwi had already made it back to town a few days sooner than the rest)! They returned from their 12-day camping trip out at Tall Tower! AWS, and they were all in good spirits. Based on their experience, it seems like snowmobiling out to Tall Tower!, rather than taking the Twin Otter, is the way to go; it’s much more reliable, as we would be able to depart practically whenever we wanted because we wouldn’t be hindered nearly as much by the weather. As far as John and Melissa’s science work is concerned, they were able to get it all completed successfully. An overall great trip for them!
Back to the original subject: With Monday being a success, our work with helo travel was completed. It’s all Otters for us from here on out (except a snowmobile trip or two). Lee and I flew by Otter yesterday and today, and I’ll reserve those fun stories for the next couple blogs.