Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Day the Hut Became More Crowded

Evening Everyone. I'm 2/C Rebecca Watson (now also known as Den Mother) and today I was tasked with writing the blog. After 23 hours of travel, including a four hour layover in Minnesota, a short layover with dinner and four hours of sleep in Anchorage, then a couple of hops and skips through Fairbanks and Deadhorse (Prudhoe Bay), group two arrived in Barrow, Alaska. -25 degrees did not sound terrible until we noticed the windchill was -55. Welcome to the northern most city in America I suppose. Without the indepth details, we had a similar arrival procedure as group 1 before being introduced to our new home.

LCDR Woods, Kyle, and Ben arrived shortly after we moved in. They had been chipping away a trail in the sea ice in the morning. After grabbing lunch, we left Sam and CDR Hagar behind to work with their project and the other six of us ventured onto the Arctic Ocean to do what we came here to do... chip ice.

 We were creating a trail for the snow mobiles to reach the lead we hope will appear while we are here. (A lead is stretches of open water within a field of sea ice. We are hoping the ice will break off where the newer ice is, so that we can access this lead). 10 minutes of chipping ice will really warm your soul. It almost felt like it was 70 degrees on that ice. It lead me to wonder, why bother going to the Carribean when you can have a spring break like this? As far as I'm concerned, it was just as warm as a "typical spring break", or at least for an hour or so. We actually went too far out to the point where we were almost on fresh forming ice. Considering how dangerous this is (we didn't want to end up on an ice island floating in the Arctic) we decided we had carved a trail far enough onto the ice. As we headed back inland, we decided to pause and climb to the top of this giant ice mass that had formed previously in the season. It was absolutely awesome to hear the fresher ice masses rubbing against each other. It was silent except for the creaking of the ice. It was the first time, of what I assume will be many, in which my first thought was, "Well, this is among the things I never thought I would do."

We did not much do much else today. We had a meeting with other BROMEX participants to discuss logistics for tomorrow then headed back to the hooch for a good 'ol home cooked meal of lasagna, garlic bread, and caesar salad. Unfortunately no Aurora Borealis tonight, but hopefully group two will get to see some while we're here. Tomorrow, expect a blog from Will about our snow samples and acoustic samples. Goodnight!

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