20 January, 2000
What a day! Several of us went out with Dan Lubin to help him replace batteries at his test sites on two different islands. Stacy Rolland, Sue Deyoe, Norm Lavoie, Charles Petit and I made the trek in the worst weather I've seen since I got here. The first island stop was Outcast Island. There was no easy way to get to the test site except through rocky terrain. The biting wind and snow fall made the work difficult. We had to lug 3 batteries and an igloo cooler full of equipment, up to each site. The batteries were very heavy and awkward to carry across a multitude of slippery rocks and boulders. One battery in parcticular weighed approximately 70lbs! The batteries are essential to run the heaters and electronic components of Dan's experiment. Dan is gathering information on greenhouse gases. His data will be compared to models that predict the trends of global warming. Dan worked quickly to replace the energy source, and we made a human barricade around him to protect him from the elements. At one point we use a sheet of bubble wrap that was wrapped around a battery to form a makeshift tent over Dan and his equipment! High tech science!
Glad to be finished, we lugged the old batteries to the boat. Actually Stacy lugged two of them all by herself! I must say I was impressed! It was on to Janus Island. Once we unloaded at Janus it was a much easier climb to Dan's equipment,though the path was still slick and dangerous. We were not plagued by the biting wind like we were at Outcast. After making the switch, Dan booted everything back up and we were off. Whew! Glad to be back!
An interesting thing happened today on the pier. It seems an elephant seal wanted to claim it as his own. This a high traffic area for people so it sometimes becomes necessary to shoe elephant seals away. At times it looked like a circus act, but after several gentle attempts, the elephant seal left in peace.
Another tour ship, visited today. The Explorer. The parents of one of the field assistants, Erik Chapman, is on board! They are Rob and Jan Chapman from Hanover, NH. The hardworking people at Palmer Station haven't seen their family or friends for weeks, some for several months. It is indeed a treat for Erik....and everyone knows it.
All in all, a great day. Until tomorrow...
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