On Friday, November 4th Lee and I had our flight activated to Schwerdtfeger AWS. On the flight to Schwerdtfeger we could not find the tower. After an hour of flying around the coordinates, we gave up and flew back to McMurdo. It turns out we were using coordinates from 2003, and I thought they were from 2013. I’ve now prepared a lot, and we’ll be bringing all the historical coordinates with us. I’ve also calculated the amount of movement and direction on the ice shelf so we have better idea of where to search. We will hopefully be trying to go back out soon.
On Saturday, November 5th Lee and I had our first flight on a helicopter out to Marble Point. We have an old style and a new style AWS at Marble Point. The older style AWS has been running for over 30 years and the newer style has been running for only a couple of years. We did a basic inspection of all the components and it all looked to be functioning properly. On the flight back from Marble Point, our helicopter pilot gave us a tour of the 5 mile long iceberg 🙂
On Monday, November 7th we had gotten cancelled on both the Twin Otter flight and the helicopter flight. Thus, we decided to make a trip to our AWS at Pegasus Airfield. The temperature sensor at Pegasus North AWS has been reporting incorrectly for over a year now and we planned to remove it to bring it back in the lab for testing. We took the hour long drive out to the site in the classy Ford F-350 pickup truck over the sea ice. We successfully removed the electronics and the sensors and brought them back to the lab. The C-17 had actually landed on the runway about 30 minutes before we got there, so that was fun to see! We saw them unload a helicopter from the plane.
We’re on the schedule for lots of flights over the next week, so we’ll how much more we can get done.
In other news, John Kerry is planning to arrive in McMurdo on Friday, November 10th.