Thursday, May 18, 2006

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!

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