And they are off
And they are off
Posted by Ian Wesley

Friday, 16 Jan 2009 00:00

A big day today and spirits were high.  After a prolonged packing session the Ice Team are out on the ice for their first mini expedition together. They left with sleds packed high and bristling with antennas.


The last few day have seen each of the team members going over their roles within the group – Ann navigating, Pen science and Martin photography.

Their intention is to run through their daily routines (setting up camp, navigation, Polar Bear watch, etc) and test their new cold weather clothing. They will also be using the entire technology package as they will be in the field - at -30C and after an exhausting day of sledge-hauling. The high tides, caused by the recent full moon have broken up the ice along the Cape. The team will practice their open water drills in these newly opened leads.

The lack of arctic explorers has left Becks and I more time to wander  the village and talk to the local Inuit. We have ‘scored’ an Arctic Char for our last evening’s meal in the Arctic. The Char being an Arctic delicacy, apparently only matched by spring seal (just as we eat Spring lamb, I suppose).

One of the most interesting things that we learnt today was that the Elders have noted that the annual ice melts have started earlier each  year, but in their opinion it is not from sun melt, but from warmer  sea currents under the ice. The earlier melt now start with the sea ice, where as before it was the land locked ice that melted first.  This is interesting as one of the instruments that the Catlin expedition is taking is a sea probe (SeaCat). This will be lowered through the ice and into the sea, to about 200m, in order to record ocean temperatures and therefore verify this theory.

Category: Preparation Technology Science
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