9 October, 1996
Another one of those days that never ends and not nearly enough gets accomplished. Work today started sixteen hours ago, if it goes for another hour it will be tomorrow. Today was the first day that the divers collected samples from under the ice. The support team had drilled holes through the five-foot thick sea ice several days ago and erected a dive hut. In order to get to the hut the divers and tenders loaded all the diving equipment onto a tracked vehicle called a spryte and drove several miles across the sea ice. I got my first chance to drive on the sea ice. It was an interesting experience since the spryte has no steering wheel. In order to turn you must use the brakes. There are two hand brakes, one controls the track on left side of the vehicle and the other controls the right track. To turn to the right you apply the brake on the right track and allow the left to turn freely.
The first dive team, Jim, Bill, and Chris started prepping for the dive at about 8:30. Although we returned at 2:00 P.M., the total time the divers were in the water was less than one half-hour. Of that time only about fifteen minutes was spent collecting samples. Bill was only able to remain in the water for ten minutes because his glove developed a leak. Since the water temperature was -2 degrees Celsius, he quickly lost the use of his hand and had to return to the surface. The afternoon dive team had similar problems, both divers had to shorten the length of their dives because of dry suits that didn't keep them dry. No dives are scheduled for tomorrow so there will be one day to try to remedy the problems. In spite of the large and well-trained support team that is available to the scientists, the hostile environment presents a constant challenge.
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