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3 April, 2003

Final Day of Drilling And Answers to Various Questions

Another warm 31 degree F day on Little Diomede with no wind and partly sunny, the kind of day you only

need three layers of gear. We have one final hole to drill before we begin collecting samples from the

sites on a routine basis.

The final hole is to be located 600 feet from the science shack. This site is important because it is

the potential location of a permanent water intake pump that is proposed in order to collect data year round.

Before we could use the augers we had to hand dig and remove about four feet of snow and ice chunks forming a four-foot by four-foot hole. And if that was not enough fun we drilled sixteen four-foot deep holes side by side within the four by four hole. Once all of the ice was removed we could begin using the

seven-foot auger. The ice is very deep in this area since it is older and has piled high over the winter. It is important to dig as deep as possible before you drill so you have a better chance of reaching the open water.

After about three hours of digging and drilling we hit seawater. Unfortunately it was only a pocket of water and more ice lay beneath it. The flooding now made it impossible to continue drilling so we had to temporarily abandon the effort. We will try again at a later time.

Since I have extra down time today I would like to use the opportunity to answer a few of the many questions I have received from my TEA web page.

Q: How do you stay warm while working outside in the cold?
A: Two things to remember when working in the cold are, first is to dress in layers and second is to keep dry. Each day we work outside, especially on windy days, I usually wear five layers, including my parka and wind pants. I wear two pairs of gloves, a thin pair and a thicker water resistant outer pair, two pairs of socks and monster huge insulated boots. On my head and face I wear a balaclava, which covers my neck, head and face except for my eyes and a thick wool hat. If needed I have my parka hood to pull up. All of this gear adds up to about 35 pounds of clothing and takes me about 10 to 15 minutes to put on (much better than the 20 to 25 minutes it took me when I first arrived here)

Q: What do you eat up there?
A: We brought most of our food with us and there is a small store on the island. We eat pretty much the same things we normally did at home. We do not get a lot of fresh fruits or vegetables out here so that is something that everyone misses. We drink a lot of very strong coffee and also alot of water. The biggest difference is when we eat. Lunch could be at noon or two, dinner at or nine. We eat when we get back from the field.

Q: What do you do for fun while you are there?
A: Sleep! No actually right now we do not have a lot of free time. We work hard and everyone is pretty tired at the end of the day. Sometimes we play basketball with the local residents at night around eleven. We do not have a TV or clear radio stations. I usually spent my free time writing and submitting my daily journals and answering the many questions I receive from students across the United States.

I will try to add a few questions and answers periodically as I receive them. Thank you for all of your questions. I have been surprised at the number of


My turn at drilling a few holes

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