13 October, 1998
Today was a great day!! We arrived at the helicopter pad at about 8:00 am for a short briefing. We also needed to weigh all of our equipment so that it could be evenly distributed within the helicopter and try of helmets for the flight. We flew about 100 miles northwest to Granite Harbor to do some fishing. We flew over the ice edge- at this point in the year the ice edge is not a smooth border where ice meets water, but rather an area of big ice blocks separated by water. Later as the last chunks of ice melt, the ice edge will be ice meeting water for as far as the eye can see. Another land mark we passed on the way is Cape Roberts, where a coring project will be starting soon. This is a multinational project involving the US, UK. Germany, New Zealand, and Australia. Granite Harbor had some awesome pressure ridges, some 30 feet high! We used a "Jiffy" (gas driven) drill to make fishing holes. When we arrived at 10:20 am it was quite cold due to the wind, but the fishing was excellent. I caught several good sized fish with my little "Snoopy" fishing rod- as I sat there it dawned on me that I was sitting in the ice and fishing in Antarctica! As a group, the fishing was very successful. The scenery was beautiful with the sculpted ice in the pressure ridges, the Hunt Glacier and mountains in the background. After we ate frozen sandwiches for lunch, the wind died down and it was perfect weather. We will need to work on our system for providing oxygen to the fish and temperature control before our next fishing outing- we had to do some scrambling to keep the fish healthy, but I'm sure we'll work out the details!! On the trip back, we were able to fly over the "dry valleys"- an area inland within the Olympus Mountain range. The pilots pointed out the Victoria Valley and lakes, which are fresh water fed by glacier water. The scenery was spectacular- clouds washing down the glaciers, beautiful colors of blue and purple interrupted by stark, tall brown mountain ridges. It was definitely worth the trip!
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