Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Tuesday, 30. May. A beautiful summerday.

The weather has been fantastic today and we have done a lot. We have even had time to enjoy an outdoor lunch. Lars have put up the last measurement points for the surface motion of the glacier. Dennis and Claude have measured quite a few radar profiles. They only lack a few hours of measurements until they have completed this part of their work. The drillers Steffen and Sverrir have worked in the drill tent in order to keep Andreas, Bruce and Jørgen Peder busy with the ice core processing and analysis. Simon made food and cleaned up in camp.

Today it was sunshine and clear skies. We could see the mountains in the far southwest, and towards southeast we could see the sea in the Fram Strait (the sea between Svalbard and Greenland). There was no wind and the temperature at 13.00 was 0 degrees C and at 21.00 -4.3 C.

In total we have drilled more than 22 m of ice. The core is alternating between light (white) layers with compressed snow that never has been melted and dark (clear) layers of refrozen wet snow. The layers of refrozen wet snow varies a lot. Some are only a few cm thick and others are several meters thick. It seems like Flade Isblink experiences very different weather conditions during the summer. Some years the melting is so strong that the whole glacier becomes wet during summer, other years the glacier is as cold as the Greenland ice sheet itself, which is 200 km to the southwest. Here at Flade Isblink the contrasts meet, which we have experienced ourselves during the last weeks' dramatic weather changes.

We have been in touch with Copenhagen and VECO over the Iridium phone today.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Monday, 29. May, The snow is back

Last night we had another dramatic night with strong winds. A couple of us did not get very much sleep because we faired that our tents would be "punctured" by the wind, just like last week. The winds were at the strongest at 4 am (20m/s). Today we laid by, due to enormous snow drift. This evening the weather has improved again. The weather change is reflected in the observations:
14.00: -3,7 C, 15 m/s from 325 true, 933.8 mb, no surface contrast, no horizon, visibility 50 m, overcast, snow, strong drift.
24.00: -3.2 C, 7 m/s from 265 true, 936,7 mb, surface contrast good, horizon good, visibility to horizon, 3/8 overcast towards south.

During the day everybody has been hanging out in the kitchen telt. Once every hour we had to go out to check the generator so that it was not covered in drifting snow. We also had to check that the tents were not destroyed by the strong winds. Furthermore there was a huge pile of drifting snow in front of the kitchendoor (which is opened outwards). Therefore we had to dig the snow away every half hour in order to be able to open the door. However, we managed to get some work done, too, like kitchen duties. Steffen made gullash and mashed potatoes for lunch and he even mad dinner as well: Beef with green peas and rice. In the drill tent we finally got started with some measurements. We measured yesterday's production. Tomorrow we will start early in the morning to take advantage of the good weather. The Kansas group has analyzed their data and it seems like some of their profiles has to be remeasured, if there is time.
Today we have been in contact with Copenhagen, Station Nord and VECO over the Iridium phone.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Sunday, 28. May. Surprises in the core

1130: -5,5 C, 5 m/s from 320 true, 931.2 mb , surface contrast good, horizon good, visibility to the horizon, 3/8 high clouds.

2100: -5.7 C, 11 m/s from 300 true, 931.0 mb, surface contrast poor, visibility 2 km, thin discontinuous cloud cover, snow. The weather is deteriorating. The wind is picking up and the forecast says that the wind will continue tomorrow.

After a really nice Saturday evening we started up slowly Sunday morning. The drilling is underway, but we still need some adjustments of the area where the cores are registered, measured and packed. Sverrir repaired some minor damages to the two skidoos and the Kansas team worked with their data.

The Flade Isblink ice core contains a number of surprises. Until now we have at a depth of 2.6 m met a layer of snow/ice which definitely is marked by having been very wet from meltwater. This layer stops again at 6.8 m. There are indications that it has been quite wet here last year or within the last several years? Inside the refrozen core sections, we see structure, as if some stratigraphy is preserved. The refrozen cores contain lots of large bubbles. We will know more once we determine the annual snow fall.

The coring started at 2.80 m below the floor of the drill tent, which was the surface on 15th May 2006. Thus logging began 5 cm from top in Bag 6. Density of bag 7: 850 kg/m3.

Claude cooked rice with vegetables and salmon for dinner.

We have talked to Copenhagen over the Iridium phone.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Saturday, 27. May. The first core

More pictures

1300: -5,5 C, 3-4 m/s from 265 true, surface contrast fair, horizon fair, visibility to horizon, overcast, snow.

1900: -5.1 C, 3 m/s from 275 true, 929,2 mb, surface contrast good, horizon good, visibility to horizon, 6/8 high clouds, snow.

After careful fine tuning of the position of the drill tower, we assmbled the drill and prepared for the first drilling. It is important to get started properly. The drill must start as vertically as possible thereby optimizing the hole and the core. At the same time, we prepared the ECM equipment and the measurement drill. We managed to drill one core late Saturday afternoon. With this feeling of having gotten off to a good start we celebrated Saturday evening with a "neck-tie dinner" of fried prawns, tenderloin beef and pudding with fruit.

The Kansas team did not make it out today since the starter on the skidoo was broken. It is being fixed. Lars and Andreas rode 6 km north from camp and dug a 4.5 m deep hole in the snow. They took samples of the wall in the hole. Unlike in camp where we have ice from 2.4 m and down, Lars and Andreas found no significant melt layer even at a depth of 4.5 m. We will need to think this over.

The melt layer that started at 2.4 m under the floor of the drill
tent continues in the core drilled. The core is 95 % refrozen wet snow. Thin
white firn layers are seen in the core. Although the ice looks like one large melt feature, the ice contains many large bubbles of gas. In the pit, 6 km to the north, no melt layers were encountered down to 4.5 m depth.

We have been in contact with Copenhagen and VECO in Søndre Strømfjord over the Iridium phone.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Friday, 26. May. A massive melt layer...

9.00: -10,8 C, 5-6 m/s from 330 true, 924,9 mb, surface contrast good, horizon good, visibility to horizon, clear sky. 21.00: -12,6 C, 3-4 m/s from 295 true, 925,4 mb, surface contrast good, horizon good, visibility to horizon, clear sky.

Today the drill trench was dug out. The trench is directly in front of the drill tower. When the drill is flipped from horizontal to vertical, the lower part flips into the trench. The digging turned out to be harder than expected. The trench was to be 2.8 m deep, but at 2.4 m we hit a massive layer of refrozen meltwater. The layer is at least 60 cm thick. Is the rest of the ice cap like this or is it just a very thick layer? We will see when the drilling starts. This seems to be last summer's layer. In that case, the annual precipitation is enormous. The skate section and the motor were mounted on the drill. We made a dinner table for the kitchen instead of the plywood sheet on cardboard boxes. The Kansas team completed 5 profiles today. During the last trip Dennis fell off his seat on the Nansen sled and since he is sitting behind the tall radar box, Claude did not notice he was missing. Claude continued to the end of the profile and when he turned around, he realized that Dennis was missing. Dennis was just a tiny dot 5 km away. Sverrir has advised Dennis to use a safety belt from now on!! Lars has set up the inner 1 km strain net and measured positions with GPS. Andreas made lunch with home baked bread and J.P. cooked breaded cutlets with boiled vegetables in white sauce for dinner.

We have been in contact with Copenhagen and VECO in Søndrestrøm over the Iridiumm phone.

Thursday, 25. May. Fun in the snow

Last night we got about 4 cm of fresh snow which fell mainly as ice crystals from a clear sky. The phenomenon is called "diamond dust" and is very beautiful. The ice crystals are created in the air while you watch it and against the sun the air shines like fireworks. The fresh snow covered everything as a soft blanket and erased all sharp edges from last week's storm. The weather events from the weekend seem almost unreal now.

14.00: -8,2 C, 3 m/s from 300 true, 924,8 mb, surface contrast good, horizon good, visibility to horizon, clear sky. 17.00, 3 m/s from 120 true (an uncommon direction) but at around 20.00 the wind calmed. 22.00: -9.2 C, calm, 923.8 mb, surface contrast poor, no horizon, visibility 100 m, clear sky and fog.

A new day of activity. We made a line of national flags: Denmark, Greenland, Iceland, USA and Sweden (Andreas is Swedish). Steffen and Sverrir organized the drill tent and assembled the drill tower. J.P., Bruce and Andreas had fun digging a 15 m snow tunnel. You dig a deep trench and cover it with blocks of snow. Snow is a fantastic building material. The tunnel ends in the floor of the drill tent. When it gets warmer, a fan will suck cold air from the tunnel into the drill tent to cool it off. Simon added electrical installations to the drill tent and cooked dinner: Spaghetti and meat sauce. Andreas made lunch: Huge burgers with home baked buns. Lars processed GPS data and Claude and Dennis rode out with the Kansas radar and completed 5 partial profiles. The bottom under the drill site is very flat. The ice thickness is quite constant at 600 m. We also had time to fill out the last holes in the cargo line.

We have been in contact with Copenhagen and FIC in Søndrestrøm over the Iridium phone.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Wednesday, 24. May. Digging out the camp

The weather is really good and we are ready to get started. 12.30: -7.1 C, 3 m/s from 310 true, 933.2 mb, surface contrast good-fair, horizon good, visibility to horizon, high thin clouds.

21.00: -8.4 C, calm, 930.5 mb, surface contrast fair, horizon fair-poor, visibility 5 km, overcast with thin clouds, snow.

As the weather report indicates, the conditions for outside work have been really good. We have gotten a lot of things done. We dug out all the long boxes from the snow masses, i.e., the drill, the drill tower and the ECM equipment. Inside the drill tent the ice core drill is done including the belt saw and everything. We have carried the 180 kg drill cable drum inside the drill tent. We moved the generator from its temporary spot to the place where the camp's cables come out from. A large part of the temporary cables have been removed. We dug out the two wrecked tents. The small Keron tunnel tent is dead. The poles can be used as spares for the others. The large red North Face tent stood up once we removed the snow. Despite the dramatic appearance, astonishingly little damage has been done. The top canvas is dead, but the tent is fine. We just need to repair one small bit of tube for a pole. The poles can be repaired with the spares we have here. It is simply amazing! A skidoo has been repaired. The broken poles on two other North Face tents have been changed.

Lars has measured the altitude of the drill site: 725 m geoid height, or 695 m over msl. The Kansas team has mounted their bottom radar and it is working. The ice thickness is about 600 m here.

Bruce cooked a really delicious dinner: Onion soup, asian inspired wok with rice and blackberry pie with ice cream.

We have talked to VECO in Kangerlussuaq, Copenhagen and Alborg over the Iridium phone.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Tuesday, 23. May. The sun is back :-)

Further pictures

During the day the weather improved:
13.00: -9.2C, 7 m/s from 360 true, 938.7 mb, surface contrast good, horizon fair, visibility 5 km, 5/8 high clouds.
22.30: -13.1C, 4 m/s from 355 true, 936.6 mb, surface good, horizon good, infinite visibility, a bit of ice fog.

The Honda generator is alive again, after spending the night in the kitchen. The speed regulator had been frozen, so now we're back to two generators! The dynamo for the other Hatz was taken apart, and we saw that a wire in the coil had loosened, probably because of ice. The wire had broken and damaged the outer part of the coil. We tried to repair it by gluing and soldering, but it didn't work, and we ordered a new one. The second Hatz engine works fine now after using a tip from the distributor in Aalborg. It was not a a matter of dirt in the fuel intake, but a loose magnet. Status: We have two working generators and a spare engine.
When the weather improved the activity level in camp exploded. We dug and dug, and the snow was beeing thrown around. Almost everything had disappeared. The cargo line was lifted 1-1.5m, and Sverrirs carpenter table was lifted by 1.65m. It was in the middle of a drift. The two snow covered skidoos and the Nansen sledges were excavated and a working again. Our loo was lifted 1m. We started to lift the third of the floor for the drill tent that we had put up one week earlier. There were no drifts at the drill site, the surface was in level with the rest of the ice cap which means that we received 65 cm of snow corresponding to 20 cm of ice over the last week ( which is the annual accumulation in Central Greenland)! If such a storm should hit every second week the ice cap would receive 16m of snow (5m ice) every year. We thus assume that the storm was exceptional. We continued to dig and put up the remaining floor and drill tent. We were finished by 22.30.
We have talked to VECO in Kangerlussuaq today.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Monday, 22. May. Better, but still waiting

Sunday evening the wind came down and the blizzard was only "normal". Everybody in camp was relieved and a bit ecstatic. We sorted a bottle of whisky, turned on the music, talked, and all in all had a postponed Saturday evening.
The wind returned shortly during night, but no harm was done. Many slept till after noon. Today the wind has been decreasing all day, maybe we can work outside tomorrow ... By midnight Monday/Tuesday the sun and the whole camp was actually visible and the wind below 8 m/s. At 21.30 Sverrir and Steffen checked the working generator, it seems like our modifications are OK, and there is no further icing.
Weather during the evening: -12C, 8m/s from 335 true, 937 mb, no horizon, no contrast, visibility 100m, overcast, snow and drift.
Our world has become somewhat enlargened, but outdoor work is still impossible for more than 15min at a time. Dennis prepared pancakes for brunch, and Lars made a great lamb-curry-stew for dinner.
The strong wind saturday/sunday costed us a dome tent and a camp bed. When evacuating the tent the wind got hold of the bed and blew it away before Andreas could grab it. Other tents have broken some rods, but we have spares, and will exchange them as soon as weather permits. The tents have been secured with wires. From Copenhagen we received a weatherchart promising better weather for the coming days. We hope so!
We are quite sure that we can hardly recognize camp once it becomes visible again. The snow drifts are enorm both in height and width.
This evening Andreas slid into the depression with our loo and squashed the tent, but he and Sverrir removed the snow, and the tent recovered. Impressive for a cheap camping tent! We will probably have to move the tent to the new surface tomorrow, by now it's inside a whole after all the blowing snow. If we hare had done like we did for the Hans Tausen project, where the drill tent was erected in 1994 for the drilling in 1995 we could probably hardly find the camp anymore. Even Sverrir is impressed by the weather! We are quite sure the polar bears don't come here, they're too smart. We talked to VECO in Kangerlussuaq and Copenhagen on the phone. Apart from that we waited.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Sunday, 21. May, can it still get worse?

The wind got even worse during night. Most of sunday we had wind speeds of 16-20 m/s, which was hard on the tents. Visibility was down to 20m because of blowing snow, we had what is called "white-out". No contours can be seen, there is no difference between the sky and the snow. Everything seems to be floating, because there are no reference points, and you intuitively lean against the wind. You can walk right into a 2m high wall of snow without knowing. The drama started when JP's dome tent inflated like a soccer ball at 4 am. At 10 in the morning two other tents had inflated, and when people crawled to the kitchen tent they found JP, who had been shut up for hours during to a 2m high drift in front of the door. When we dug out the Honda and started it it produced no electricity. That was a bad situation! Three sick generators inside the kitchen tent, no electricity for our tools and cooking. The wind was still very strong. Around noon we arrived at lighting up two primus' to warm up the tent. In polar areas it's very problematic to be in non-heated tents, it becomes incredibly humid. The clothes can't dry, and all electric communication can break down due to condense water. Once the primus' started to spread heat the mood improved. We decided to "cannibalize" the two generators and to connect the good engine with the good dynamo. The Hatz distributor in Aalborg advised Steffen over the Iridium phone. He was very helpful, and the generator worked again at 17.30. for the first time in two days we had a "normal" meal. Everybody is tired but happy, both those who repaired the generator and those who fight to save the remaining tents. It should be OK now, and we just hope that the weather improves soon. At the moment traversing camp is hard work in slow-motion. Now at 21.00 we're back to "normal" snowstorm. Lars and JP are happy they brought the big kitchen weatherport! During the day we have been in Iridium contact with: VECO in Kangerlussuaq, St. Nord, Aalborg and Copenhagen.
Typical weather: -12 C, 16-20 m/s winds from 340 true. 928,53 mb, horizon:
nil, surfacecontrast: nil. visibility 20 m. Blizzard. The air so full of
blowing snow that sun was not seen.
At 2200 visibility increased to 50 m and winds dropped to 11 m/s (the
usual blizzard).

Saturday, 20. May, chaotic Saturday

Saturday evening in the field is usually an "evening out" wearing nice clothes, eating good food and relaxing, but this day was completely different:
The snowstorm continues and it's Saturday. Then at 16.00 what we all feared happened, our diesel generator suddenly stopped to produce electricity. The dynamo gave up because it was full of ice. We had to start our faithful Honda petrol generator, and the kitchen was once again transferred into a generator workshop. It was simply impossible to work outside. Now we were in the odd situation to have two generators, one where the engine worked and one where the dynamo worked. We tried to attach a long ventilator tube to the dynamo to avoid icing, but we couldn't decouple engines and generators! Saturday evening passed with repairs and JP served spaghetti Carbonara at 23.00 in the middle of chaos. What a Saturday! During dinner we talked about our situation. The camp was running on the petrol generator which is not good since we didn't bring too much petrol (mostly diesel) and the Kansas people have to drive skidoos for their measurements.
Weather:-13 C, 12-16 m/s winds from 340 true, 936.1 mb, horizon: nil, Surface contrast: nil, visibility 50 m. Overcast, blowing snow.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Friday, 19. May, The snow only gets worse

Again it's been storming all night and the whole Friday. Visobility dminished further. A typical weather report for Friday:
Temperature -13C, 15 m/s, wind from 345 true, no horizon, np contrast, visibility down to 20 m. Snow and strong drift. In the afternoon visibility became so bad that people were advised only to go to the tents two at a time. In the evening visibility improved, and we could see the closest tents, Steffens definition of visibility:" It's unchanged as far as I can see!"
The camp has been quiet all day. People only leave the nice and warm kitchen tent for 5-10 min at a time. The drifts some time go up to our necks - and we almost have to swim through. We had to give up the first loo, it was to difficult to reach. We watched movie in the afternoon and evening again, Sverrir cooked lunch, and Claude american steaks for dinner. We have talked to VECO in Kangerlussuaq on the Iridium phone. In the afternoon we inspected the generator and picked up two diesel drums from the drifts. We know the sun shines somewhere above, but we would really like to see it now. When we came to Nord last Thursday the sun was shinning over Flade Isblink all day, so we know it's possible. We are all well, but bored. We have had the STD-C telex on all day, it's connected to the Atlantic Ocean East satelite. We have sendt telex to the internet today, although sofar it's cheaper to use the Kansas internet.

A picture of Simon on his way back from the generators. They are behind the shields to the left. To the right is the loo. The distance is about 15 m.

A picture of the kitchen, our cosy spot at the moment.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Thursday, 18. May, snow, snow, snow

It keeps snowing, and actually the weather forecast predicts continuing snowfall over the coming days. Here is the daily report from the ice:

It was quiet for 4 hours. At 22.00 Wednesday evening the snowstorm returned, and it continued all night and all day Thursday. A typical weather report Thursday: -7C, 15m/s wind from 320 true, no horizon, no contrast, visibility 50 m. Snow and strong drifting.

The camp has been waiting all day. People went out for 5-10 min and came back in. Otherwise everybody stayed in the kitchen tent, which is nice and warm, thanks to the diesel generator which worked fine. Luckily we managed to repair it yesterday. The cargoline has disappeared under the snow, but it is well-marked. The snow drifts reach chest height, and we can hardly walk in the snow. What do you do on a day like this? We watched movies afternoon and evening, some read, and others profited from the internet connection. Andreas prepaired lunch and Simon dinner. Vi have been in contact with VECO in Kangerlussuaq, St. Nord and Copenhagen through the Iridium phone. We can borrow two drums of gasoline from Nord, which we can pick up once the weather is better. In the evening Simon noted that the generator was completely icy, and covered in snow. If the air intake gets shut off the generator becomes too warm. We hopefully solved the problem. Tonight the wind has changed 35 degrees, and the pressure is going up, maybe conditions improve?

This report sounds a bit dramatic, but everybody is fine, we're just bored, waiting. After all we were supposed to drill. Our telex has been on all day, but we have good connections over the Iridium phone and internet. Our VHF is tuned to 8093 kHz, but unfortuntely VECO doesn't go through clearly and we can't hear Summit. When the storm is over we will tune the antenna to 4050 kHz so we can talk to Nord.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Thursday, 18. May, video clips

The snowstorm continues and the crew has sent home small videoclips from camp.

Wednesday, 17. May, snowstorm

There was a snowstorm all night, and when we woke up everything was covered in snow drifts which we couldn't even see, because of the storm. Walking through camp we suddenly sank into knee-high snowdrifts, and the door to the kitchen tent was covered up to the door-knob. Fortunately all cargo had been arranged in long rows, and we could see the top of the boxes. The storm continued until 16.00, and outdoor work was almost impossible. Bruce and Andreas managed to install an alarm around camp, which will make a horn go off in the kitchen tent if a polar bear should walk into it. The horn can be heard all over camp.

The kitchen was re-aaranged so we could work on the generators inside the only warm tent. We started with the Hatz generator no. 2, and took apart the motor, until we saw that the cylinder head gasket was not tight. It had simply not been thoroughly enough fastened at the factory. Efter 3 hours of repair we tried to re-start the generator, but it still wouldn't start, this time probably because of dirt in the fuel intake. The motor did not have any fuel filters, which we corrected. We then turned to the Hatz no.1, which had the same problems, and we finished within 1½ hours this time. The Hatz no. 1 went on in the first try, and we are back on diesel again. Two full days using gasoline have reduced our supplies considerably, and we will have to make an inventory tomorrow to see whether this will affect the radar and GPS measurements which involve some skidoo driving.

Tonight the weather (and the spirit in camp) improved, and everybody thanked Steffen and Sverrir for their work. A bottle of whiskey came out, and we enjoyed Steffens spaghetti meal. Claude and Dennis worked with the radar until they got tired of the blowing snow. Lars made some GPS measurements without disappearing in the snow.

Weather tonight: -5.5C, 5 m/s from 265 true, cloudy with thin clouds and visibility to the horizon. We saw the sun this evening!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Tuesday 16. May, building up camp

The first picture from camp, the Flade Isblink Field Party (5/16/06)
(From left to right)
Back row: Sverrir Hilmarsson (Iceland), Simon Sheldon (U. Copenhagen), Andreas Lemark (U. Copenhagen), Bruce Vaughn (U. Colorado), Lars Berg Larsen (U. Copenhagen), and Steffen Bo Hansen (U. Copenhagen)
Front row: Dennis Sundermeyer (U. Kansas), J.P. Steffensen (U. Copenhagen), Claude Laird (U. Kansas)

It's been windy and snowing all night and it continued during the day. In the morning we had 40cm drifting snow between the boxes. Around 15.00 the Twin Otter flew over the camp and we could talk to Jonas over the VHF radio. Jonas could talk to Nord and us, but unfortunately we can't talk directly to Nord on VHF. The snow stopped around noon, for the first time since we arrived. The weather at 15.00: -9.2C, 4 m/s from 295 true, visibility: infinite, overcast with high thin clouds.
The Kansas people have installed their internet café og Claude commented loudly when he downloaded his emails. You just can't get away from them :-)
Vi have finished arranging the cargo-line, with all our cargo line up, so we can find it in the snow. Sverrir and Steffen started on the floor for the drill tent. Meanwhile the Hatz generator no.1 stopped. Probably a problem with the fuel intake ... The problem was found and repaired. At the moment we use the Honda generator. Lunch was Currystew and champignon soup. Bruce brought a bear-alarm fence, and we put it up around the camp. The kitchen is getting organized and cosy. Tomorrow both generators will have a look-over in the kitchen tent.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Monday, 15. may, first day in camp

Flade Isblink camp is established now and the irridium telephone is open and placed in the kitchen tent. All in camp are in a good mood.

The day has been used to establish camp. The weatherport, the sleeping tents and a "shitter"-tent is up. The generator is running and electrical cables have been pulled to the kitchen tent and the site for the drill/science dome. In the act of preparing the shitter a 1.5 m deep hole has been dug. No melt layers were found. Is the accumulation very high - or has there been no melt last summer?
Tomorrow the drill/science tent will be established.

It's has been -14 - -10 deg C with wind 8-10 m/s. Ice fog all day.

Sunday 14. may, Flade Isblink!

The weather was OK and the put-in to Flade Isblink began at 11 am local time. All cargo was moved to the camp in 8 twin Otter missions. Lars and Sverrir drove the skidoos and sledges to the camp using the route north of St. Nord. This route goes over a wide snow covered area which will probably not persist through the June 7th missions, when the next team takes over on Flade Isblink. When we have time we will establish a route south of St. Nord. At 19.00 all flights were completed, and a few hours later ice fog rolled over the camp.
The temperature was -11C and there was some windso we hurried to put up the weatherports and tents. After a few hours the most important tents had been erected, and the generator and iridium phone had been installed. We could then call Copenhagen, where people had been eagerly waiting for news.

Saturday 13. May, waiting

It's been completely overcast all day. Jonas had us on stand-by until noon, but then we cancelled all flights. We thus had the opportunity to participate in a fantastic Saturday evening dinner at Nord. The tables were set with tablecloths and candlelights, and everybody wore ties. After dinner the party continued to the bar that had been transformed to an internet-café by the Kanses people.

Our freezer works, and after going down to -25C we pulled the plug. It's ready. Our Hatz diesel generator was tested, and we also tested Nord's barometers against our pressure standard.

Friday 12. May, the project has started!

After breakfast at 9.00 am we continued finding and sorting cargo. The temporary freezer for ice core storage was erected outside one of St. Nord's garages. It was built within 3 hours, but then the weather was getting marginal, and by the time the Twin Otter arrived from Alert christmas snow was falling. The temperature was -3C and there was almost no wind. We have talkedt to Jonas and Stråle and Rene Forsberg have taken the geodetic equipment out of the plane. Sverrir repaired Naja Mikkelsens skidoo, and the skidoo she borrowed from St. Nord, so she and Yngve are ready to leave.
Svend, the head of St. Nord, checked all our papers and reported to the Greenland Command that project Flade Isblink has started. Lars and JP checked the pack-list. If weather permits we will try to get to Flade Isblink tomorrow. Jonas thinks that we can do it in one day.

Thursday 11. may, St. Nord

Departure for Station Nord at 08:00 local. After two and a half hours of flight we arrive at Bord at 13:30 local time. There is 3 hours time difference between Thule and Nord. Station Nord has UTC (Zulu) time. The C130 was totally full and the 109ht called the C130 ‘the Vaseline plane’ because the load needed oil on all sides in order to fit into the C130. Weather was exellent. We flew over Flade Isblink and noted that the route to the south looked most promising. We got quartered in Building 19. The snow reaches the roof of Building 19, but the door was free. After lunch and a group picture with Jim Grubb, the 109th returned. A great THANKS to Jim Grubb on his last mission to Greenland. We hope to meet you again in the future. The rest of the day and evening was used for sorting out cargo.

Starting up, 8.-10. May

Monday, May 8th

During the week the team has gathered in Kangerlussuaq and the team departed for Thule Air Base at 12:30 local. The US C130 was stuffed with scientific equipment and scientists and we would like to thank the mission commander Jim Grubb from US National Airport for outstanding support. The team was greeted by the DLO (Danish Liason Officer), Tommy Toft in Thule. The air guard and Lars immediately started regrouping the pallets. A pleasant evening was spend in the Club and many old histories where told.

The team: Dennis, Claude, Bruce, Jørgen Peder (JP), Lars, Sverrir, Steff, Simon, Andreas

Tuesday, May 9th

Early morning the team started rebuilding pallets. The cargo staged in Thule in March was found behind a door that could not open. This was fixed during the day. Visits at the police for weapon permissions and at the DLO about the summer plans were successful. US C130 used the day for a mission to Alert while our team prepared the pallet for Station Nord.

Wednesday, May 10th

The cargo was ready Tuesday afternoon. We would like to thank the Thule Air Base personal for fantastic support. The 109th came back from Alert Tuesday at 16.00 local time and Jim Grubb could inform that a radar on the C130 had mechanical problems so there would be no mission today, Wednesday. While the 109th returned to Kangerlussuaq for exchange of C130, we used Wednesday sigh seeing. We were so fortunate that we could use a car and had a good day with good weather. In the afternoon the Thule Air Base personal loaded the Flade Isblink cargo in the exchanged C130 with a K60 loader.