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15 August, 2001

A Room With A View

Wednesday, 15 August 2001


Life on Board

Oh, WOW! An announcement went out over the loud speakers this evening that anyone wanting to take a helicopter ride should go line up at the helicopter deck at 9 pm. The crew was given first priority since we are not underway right now, and most of them could take time out of their work schedule for a flight. With this in mind, I headed to the volleyball court to await my turn. After a few flights, they started landing on the ice next to the volleyball court to pick up the next group of people since everyone was down there anyway. Our incredibly competent Norwegian helicopter team, Odd Hansen and Stig Onarheim (yes, those are their real names), could take 4 sightseers armed with cameras at a time. Harnesses buckled, headphones on, thumbs up, and away we go. This was my first heli ride except for the big Russian airbus we flew the short distance to the Russian icebreaker Yamal on August 6. And boy, was it ever a ride. Roller coaster in 3-D. Stomach lurching fun, speeding low over the ice, then straight up, take a spin around the Oden. With Odd at the helm, you never know what's next (I'm glad I didn't eat too much for dinner). Anyway, I got some great pictures and video of Oden from space.

Where Are We Now?

It was foggy this morning when I woke up at 7 am (We are using GMT or UTC time on the ship, which puts us 7 hours ahead of San Diego time, 2 hours behind Sweden time). It soon cleared up to a beautiful day with no wind before lunch, increasing somewhat to cool things down later in the day. Our coordinates at 6 pm tonight were 88o20'N/2o37' W.

Scientists at Work

About 9 am this morning, we snow mobiled out to an open lead about 1.5 km away on the other side of our ice floe with the small boats for surface microlayer sampling. It was so beautiful outside with the ice edges perfectly reflected on the water, the temperature just below freezing, and no wind to sneak its way through our Gore-tex outerwear. The bigger of the two boats (2 meters long), lost a propeller to the depths at some point so it had to be repaired at the site but the small boat (1 meter long) went right in and started collecting. It was so cold that the water would freeze into a slush on the rolling collection drum and pile up at the neck of the sample bottle. But the sunlight was wonderful and we got samples so the day was considered a success.

Vi ses! (See you later!)

From Deck 4 on the Icebreaker Oden, heading southwest, still north of 88, Dena Rosenberger


At the controls of the small microlayer sampler boat

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