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2 February, 2002


The POPs team meets at 0800 every morning to discuss the plan for the day. We need to know the weather conditions before we can go out in the Zodiacs to collect water samples. We can't go out if the wind is blowing more that 20 nautical miles per hour (20 kts.)

The wind is the biggest hazard to boating in Zodiacs, but there are other things to watch out for, also. If there is a lot of ice, we must travel very slowly. Brash ice can rip boat fabric and destroy propellers. Icebergs can "turn turtle" and tumble, causing large waves. Bar ice is clear and so it is hard to see. It is often large and can damage the Zodiac if we run right into it. Then there is an animal hazard. Leopard seals have been known to bite and puncture Zodiac air tubes. These seals can be aggressive. Some of them are quite large.

While we are out taking water samples, we have a lot of time to look around. If the weather is clear, we can look to the north and see Mt. William and Mt. Moberly. If we are lucky enough to have sea ice as well as ice from the glacier, we may see animals hauled out on the ice. Sometimes penguins will swim right by our Zodiac. Of course, it is very difficult to get any photos of that, but here are some other images of scenery we see while sampling.

Only a small part of this iceberg bit is floating above the water. The water is clear enough for you to see a large part of the iceberg below the water. Notice the edge of the Zodiac in the photo, for an idea of size.

Two seals on a nearby ice floe.

I'm in the bow of the Zodiac, pointing out the ice to Michele.

We have seen much larger pieces of ice, also!

We had some penguin observers.

We saw lots of beautiful ice while getting water samples on January 29, 2002.

Michele Cochran is driving the Zodiac through the ice.

Here is a beautiful example of bar ice. Sometimes it looks as if it has been sculpted for a party.

Is this a volunteer helper for the water sampling process?

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