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26 November, 2004

Packing up!

Temperature: 23*F

Location: Lake Hoare

I spent most of today packing up the remaining dive gear, tools, and preparing the samples we collected for shipment back to McMurdo. My first task was to hike to the other side of the lake to melt out a “trombone” that was stuck in the ice. Due to the current ice conditions, it was much faster to walk on the moat around the lake edge rather than going straight across the lake. Anna, who works at the camp, came along to help.

When we reached the area, I fired up the generator and hotsy and began the melting process. It did not take too long for the trombone to free itself from the ice. We packaged it up in its case and loaded it on the banana sled we had brought to carry the trombone back to camp. We then prepared the hotsy and generator for their sling load back to town. This basically involved securing all compartments, securing any loose parts, and arranging all hoses so they could not drip their contents out into the environment. Anna secured the lines for the helo hook up.

On the hike back to camp, we took some time to admire the glacier and the patterns in the ice. The rough edges of the glacier yield themselves to the turquoise blue of the lake moat. Some icicles have formed where water had dripped off the glacier during the recent warm weather.

When we got back to camp, I prepared the core samples for shipping to McMurdo. When we collected the samples, lake water filled the tube above the sample. This was left in the tube to keep the mat intact and it provided the necessary water for freezing the sample. We had put stoppers in the ends of the tubes to keep the sample in the tube. During freezing, the water expanded, pushing the stoppers out of some of the tubes. The ice cores that now protruded from the sample had to be sawed off, the ends of the tubes chiseled out so the stoppers could be put back in the tubes, and labeled for analysis. It would be a shame to mislabel a sample at this point; that would certainly skew the data!

1) Towing the trombone back to camp.

2) The glacier with the turquoise moat.

3) Icicles on the Canada Glacier.

4) Preparing the core samples for shipping.

5) Labeling the core samples with the depth from which they were taken.

6) The gear is packed and ready to go!

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