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15 June, 1992

Monday, 15 June, 1992:

0100 hrs went onto the ice for an ice station. Had full moon and a near total eclipse; however, this was the most difficult station to date. So difficult in fact that all the preparations to shoot the total eclipse had to be scrapped because of the time the station took. The floe we were on had a full 3 meters worth of ice which made coring difficult. In spite of the thickness, the stresses on the floe were such that severe cracks appeared during the station. Another problem, especially for Brett and me was the very heavy snow cover. Usually the snow, over 200 m, averaged, I would guess, 18 cm deep; this floe, the first 100 m line, averaged almost 70 cm with maximum thickness of 163 cm. Not only was the snow thick, but there were also several "ice layers" between the levels of snow that had to be forced through before we got to the true ice. Believe me, I was totally exhausted and in great pain when this station was completed. The only saving grace was the fact that during this station we literally worked through the entire eclipse. It is no wonder early people feared the eclipse. To go through a full moon to a thin sliver in a few hours and back again is mind boggling! Got off the ice at 0430; entered data and went to bed about 0730 hrs.

1020 hrs woke up out of a sound sleep and saw on the monitor that we were in position for the next ice station. I panicked; I figured I had slept through my wake up call. I ran to the Baltic Room where Troy was running the winch. I asked if the ice team had gone on the ice and was told "yes." I dressed in record time and was on the bow in 10 minutes. I looked down and saw three people on the ice. I grabbed the radio and asked Vicky if she wanted me to go down; she said "no." This station was to be short due to the shallow CTD and they were only going to take a couple of cores. Well, I was glad I didn't screw up; but still sorry that I missed the chance to go on the ice again. When the team came aboard, I put the cores into the freezer and then spent the rest of the time entering iceberg data.

1400 hrs went on deck and saw a flock of penguins. Boy, are they cute! I watched them for some time until they decided to go into the lead behind the Palmer. I started for watch at 1535 hrs and got the chance to see my first whale. There in the lead between us and the Federov was a minke whale doing a little spy hopping. Boy, this is exciting! I watched him for about three minutes before we got so close that he opted to dive and evidently, swam away. Got off watch at 1830 hrs, ate and entered data until 2100 hrs. At 2210 hrs we went to the ice for another station. This station turned out to be difficult also: 160 cm of snow, 2.5 m of ice and quite windy.

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