Transformation of texture
Transformation of texture

Wednesday, 14 Jan 2009 00:00

Even with our warm home nearby and easy access to plenty of restorative tea and coffee, working outdoors here in this cold environment is challenging.  The temperature here is typically –25C to -30C each day and every activity takes significantly longer than anticipated.  I’ve been up here for over a week now and whilst the twilight is noticeably longer each day, the sun has still not risen above the mountains so there is only about 4 hours of daylight each day.  Each day we have a schedule of tests and trials, putting all the equipment and technology through its paces whilst making the most of the few hours of daylight.

One of the things I find really interesting is the transformation in the textures and manoeuvrability of fabrics and materials. Out in the cold, textures become uniform, the sleeping bags that were downy-soft at room temperature crackle like the noise of paper being scrunched into a ball, and any plastic-type items become rigid and unwieldy.  

In the morning we’re setting off for some amphibious training with a local clam diver.  The clams are harvested all year round, and in winter a hole in the ice is constantly maintained to reach the water beneath.  Whilst I’m looking forward to some fresh Arctic seafood for lunch,  I have to say I’m very pleased it’s not me taking the plunge!

 
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