8 January, 2003
Solo Trip to F6
The corer was still stuck under the ice and Amber and Sean were assigned to work “Hot Finger” in hopes of freeing it. They did not need a full team on the ice, so I was again able to go to F6. I was glad to be catching up on my journals, but like everyone, am anxious to get back to the research. Knowing I may not have access to e-mail again for some time, I set off on my own for F6. I took a radio with me in case of emergency and called ahead to F6 so they knew to expect me in 45 minutes.
I no sooner arrived and the LTER team cleared out for the day to do their stream research, but the camp was not empty. Ken, a helo pilot was stranded here because the cage on his helo slid onto the skid and he had to wait for the Coast Guard to send out some guys to fix it. Then Joe Yarkin, “Solar Joe” from the Mechanics Equipment Center (MEC) flew in to work on the generator and solar panels at F6. There were several other helos in delivering people and packages. I saw more helicopters in 8 hours than I’d see of dragon flies sitting by a pond at home. It seemed like non-stop traffic all day. I’d no sooner get working and I’d hear them overhead, and would go out to greet people or pick up packages. For such an isolated spot, there is a lot of activity.
Just on the outskirts of the F6 camp, there are several plastic pyramid shaped structures where Ross Virginia of Dartmouth College is conducting research on the nematode worms. These researchers are affectionately called worm herders. Check out the photos below. These worms lose water during the winter months and then rehydrate in the summer months. It is truly an amazing survival technique. It is like they are freeze-dried.
I returned to my camp in time for dinner. I had a nice walk back, taking my time to look at the rocks and enjoy the breath-taking scenery.
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