17 June, 1992
Wednesday, 17 June, 1992:
Ate mid rats and went right to the lab to enter data. Did not go to bed but put in data until my watch at 0400 hrs. During this time, discussed with Javier the possibility of traveling to Argentina with him. Sounds good to me. When I arrived on the bridge, Ewald, the ice pilot, decided the Palmer should not travel any more till first light. Great, I sat up all night so I wouldn't miss watch and they cancelled it. I was going to call Ingrid later, but I decided to call her now; it was 0238 hrs back home. I had never used a "sea phone" before. It is like any other phone, only you must use a credit card and it is a tad more expensive ($10/minute and a minimum of three minutes). What the hell, it's my anniversary. I got through on the first try and it sounds better than at home! Boy, was it great to hear Ingrid. She was totally surprised. All is well. We talked for a short time. I told her that I would probably be home the first week of July; I wished her a happy anniversary; we said our goodbys. From here I went and sat in the sauna and reflected on my marriage and how things have evolved over the years. Got to bed at 0520 hrs. Got up at 1219 hrs and looked outside; it was like heaven. We were about 1/4 of a mile from an iceberg. The whites and blues were awesome. The captain literally took the Palmer all the way around the iceberg. Maybe it was an anniversary gift!? I took much video; in fact, I shot so much that I think my camera hand got frostbitten on three fingers. Oh well, if it did, it was surely worth it. North of this berg there were what I thought to be several icebergs close together. As it turned out, they were the South Orkney Islands. If that was not enough, just east of them was a vertical rainbow! It appeared to go straight up into the sky. WOW, if only my wife could be here to share this moment with me! I went to my cabin about 1245 hrs to change and Vicky came by to wish me a happy 25th and advise me that we were about to do an ice station. Boy, that was nice of her and it meant a lot to me.
Got on the ice about 0140 hrs. The station went real well, only it was very, very, very short. We were off the ice by 1530 hrs. I had to go to watch, got off at 1800 hrs, ate and typed in data. Rumor has it that the next station will be real long for the CTD will be in the deepest part of the Weddell Sea some 6,000 meters down. I hope so; I'd love to get some time to take pictures. We have a meeting at 2000 hrs with Arnold Gordon. Meeting held in conference room at 2000 hrs. It was run by Arnold. My friend Javier Albarracin, from Argentina, taped the speech for me and typed it out; however, he typed my copy in Spanish! (Copy enclosed for you Spanish readers.) Arnold's comments went something like this:
Ice Camp Weddell I
We were part of an historic event.
No matter in what light you look at the ice camp, it was a "fantastic success."
Steps to success:
had to sell program to the National Science Foundation (NSF) had to bring American and Russian scientists together
the area to be studied was a "total data void;" therefore, this adventure had to be treated for what it truly was: a "true expedition" Meetings of people involved
materials to survive the Antarctic fall and winter materials to do science
Deployment of Ice Camp
getting to area of deployment
selection of floe that would remain in tact for 5-6 months (did not think this was possible)
Heroic adventure of all those on the first leg. Far more demanding than was anticipated.
There has been accumulated a tremendous amount of data and knowledge. Recovery phase was a total success. Owing, in no small part, to the scholars and mentors (Arnold still has no idea what to call us) Education program (us: Old and Young Scholars) was invaluable.
Arnold commented on how he had told us that he felt that we did NOT belong on this cruise and that he was WRONG. He felt we had "contributed much to this fantastic and great adventure." (Boy, I never thought I would hear Dr. Arnold Gordon, God of the Southern Oceans, apologize. I WAS wrong!) Arnold pointed out that we did real science in the "dirty world and not the lab" and that we should all have a "feeling of triumph and success."
Arnold will share with each of us a copy of the Ice Camp Weddell I Report following the 12/7/92 World meeting if Geophysicists in San Francisco.
The next speaker was Dr. Bernard Lateau, Project Coordinator for the National Science Foundation. This project "truly has been a success from every perspective."
Next was Kevin Wood from Antarctic Support Associates (ASA) to tell us that we would be back in Punta Arenas by 24 May and that we were to see him for travel plans. This was a shocker - so soon! I don't want to leave.
John Evans spoke next. He was thrilled over the entire project, especially the clean up. When he had spoken to us back on 5 June, he said his biggest concern was "the removal of the 800 fifty-five gallon drums of contaminated fuel." He divulged that he had spoken with, and had plans for employing, pyrotechnic techniques to get rid of the fuel; but he did not want this most successful ICWI to become the ecological nightmare of 1992. He praised us all for putting 100% effort forth to dig out and remove this fuel. He praised Young and Old Scholars alike for "really getting involved" in digging and becoming part of the total experience. I am most proud of the fact that he mentioned me in parcticular in this respect. Thanks, John; that meant a lot, but it was MY PLEASURE.
Next was Tony Gow. He gave an overview of the sea ice program and told us that the program was an immense success. He said much of it was to due to the efforts of the Young and Old Scholars.
Vicky Lytle spoke next. She, too, stressed the success of the project and the tremendous volume of data that was obtained. She stated that she believes that the ice observations and iceberg observations that were done during this trip may be "the most comprehensive" in history." For what it's worth, I'm impressed!
The meeting ended at 2110 hrs with pizza and the now infamous Kool Aid of the Nathaniel B. Palmer.
The next CTD started at 2200 hrs in a trough some 5500 m deep. It would be a long one and would give the ice team a good long station; but the ice pilot has prohibited the ice team from going on to the ice because of its instability. I feel badly over this, for I'm sure this must mark the end of all my future ice stations as well. Went to bed at 2350 hrs.
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