Monday, March 12, 2012

“It’s definitely waterproof …” March 11

Greetings from Barrow! I’m Will “random” Parker here for your third blog update. The group began stirring this morning one by one after group 2’s first night in paradise. The morning consisted of planning, coffee drinking, milk spilling, and “sea perch” reinforcing (which would later prove futile). After an amazing brunch at the cafeteria down the road the usna crew geared up for an afternoon on the ice to deploy the Ice Goat and acoustic equipment. As the Ice Goat prepared for its long anticipated trip out to the ice everyone lined up for one of the research bouy’s pictures (which can be viewed at Seven academy guys plus Sam plus three guides plus the Ice Goat plus all the acoustic equipment on 8 snowmobiles = rolling deep. Once the convoy made it to the research site everyone began working on drilling holes for the acoustics or helping position the Ice Goat. As a side project we wanted to put a remotely controlled submersible called a Sea Perch down the ice hole in order to get a picture of what it looked like in the water beneath the ice. One of the first discoveries of this trip was that the sea perch is not yet compatible for arctic waters.
                             Before                                                                                     After
We still wanted to get video under the ice so we tied the gopro camera to some line and lowered it down the ice hole (hold your tongue and say that one). Unfortunately the gopro was in the wrong case; the non-waterproof case to be exact and much of this evening has been devoted to bringing it back to life. So far the couscous hasn’t worked. After an afternoon of good work out on the ice the group rode the snowmachines back in and got ready for dinner at the local Mexican restaurant called PePe’s where researchers from other groups joined us. CDR Hager, Sam, and myself left early with Tom to check on the acoustic equipment before dark. This translated into a high speed snowmobile ride out onto the frozen sea chasing the sun before it could set. Once the snowmobile engines were turned off we could really appreciate the beauty and peacefulness that contrasts the inhospitable conditions here. After a quick tune up we raced back to Barrow at dusk which proved to be equally exhilarating…definitely top 5 coolest experiences. Look forward to a post from Kyle tomorrow!

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