The bags in Bristol - we've got a lot of equipment to bring with, including 150m of hosing (for injection dyes into the moulins).
The Trio in Bristol (Me, Steve, Mike). In the risk assessment Steve comes out as being the most likely to die in the wilderness, but Mike and I will do our best to keep him alive.
Me, in the Copenhagen airport entry hall.
The Copenhagen airport.
After spending the night in a hotel whose rooms were modeled in size and shape after those on a ship (two bunks on one wall, a desk on the other, and a bathroom where the sink and shower shared the same water controls), we found ourselves back at the airport.

I was carrying a 9m extensible fishing pole to get the tracers out of the river with. Airport security was not happy with this in London, but my "Research Collaborator" ID solved this, after some grumbling. In Denmark they flatly refused to let fishing equipment on the plane, even if it was for science. Steve ran it back to check-baggage.

Steve had booked us buisness class so we'd have a larger baggage limit - this didn't prevent us from having one extra and one over-weight bag. The food was wonderful and came in two courses. The seat had soo much room and leaned way back. It was the most comfortable flight ever. I read the first half of Wild Trees, borrowed from Randy. [Update 02012-11-13: This how I knew I had a problem with adventuring… I spent the flight to Greenland reading about adventures in Redwoods!]

Approaching Kangerlussuaq.
Looking out the window.
And again.. icecap!!!!!
The first view as I stepped out of the plane and onto the runway.
We all thought we'd be flying a little plane, but ours was big and filled with people with suits. It turns out Greenland is a quick stop for trans-Atlantic trips.
Jemma met us at the airport terminal, collected the two cases of beer we bought for the camp and walked us out to the jeep.
The kit.
Then we had a pow-wow and planned out, roughly, the next three or four days. We'll be staying in two to facilitate base-line testing of the sensors.
KISS: Kangerlussuaq International Science Support. It looks ugly outside, it's utilitarian inside, but filled with friendly people from all over the place - and lots of interesting converse.
In the workshop.
We head out to the field for the first range-test. Steve's excited to be here and we pull over at the first flat sandy spot we come to, though Jemma mentions there are more up ahead (we end up using these for every other test we do). We measure the tracer's range at a disappointing 200m and it seems as though we could pack up and leave right then… it's just not enough. But, looking up, we see a huge radio tower directly across from us: it's swamping our signal. Later on the tracers will demonstrate amazing ranges averaging 2–3km, 5km for mild elevations, and more than 10km when searched for from mountain tops. This is much, much better than we'd hoped for.c
Steve's put together a computer that monitors RF over a range of frequencies and made a custom portage outfit for it. He's been quite pleased, although it apparently gives one a back ache fairly quickly.
Driving out to the ice cap past Sugarloaf Mountain.
A derelict snow machine.
Steve & Mike down by the river.
The icecap!
In every photo I take of it, our jeep looks like it's just walked out of a car commercial. It's very photogenic.
By the river preparing to do a second day's worth of range tests.
Steve with his home-brew omni-directional antenna.
Mike preparing the eTracers.
Me, not really having much to do right now.
We took a driver out towards the harbour to listen for our beacon in the fjord (Kangerlussuaq means "big fjord"). We could hear it, calling o'er the waves. In the distance Kangerlussuaq (you're seeing pretty much all of it here) was loomed over by the distant ice-cap (it appears like a low-lying cloud here and you can see that the ice is semi-liquid…it's flattened out to a line following the curve of the Earth).
We decided to have pizza for supper…
Musk ox and mussel pizza. It was tasty!

8/12/09

Mike & Jemma heading down to the river to see if the sensors will survive…
The raging torrent of death. This is the Akuliarusiarsuup Kuua, also known as the Watson River at one time.
Preparing the equipment.
Steve, with my waterproof notebook.
Packing up afterwards. My job was to cast the Tracer into the river, letting out all the line on my rod, and then reel it back in. This was quite a job and the rod was bent nearly in half by the force of the water pulling on the Tracer. I had a crowd of tourists around me watching me play the "fish" - they were hugely disappointed when all that emerged was a little orange bobber-thing. I told them the line must have broke.
Quick sand is everywhere. Jemma fell into her waist the other day, but managed to escape. I've walked across it, but haven't broken through. It jiggles beneath your feet and muddy water oozes through. If you continue to jump on it, it slowly indents and, eventually, breaks.



Check if this is a private message just for Richard:


Mom - Saturday, August 15, 2009 at 14:01:08 (PDT)
Looks like it must be warmer than I would have thought.
Wonder if musk ox is much like venison?
Can't wait for more info!!!

Fee - Sunday, August 16, 2009 at 06:45:58 (PDT)
Hey Rich, Steve gave me your blog details; I'm slightly concerned about Steve's risk assessment so I hope you've all been tying yourselves together on that glacier like I asked ;) haha!

Greenland looks spectacular, have you seen the northern lights? Anyway, best of luck hope you little orange bobber thing survives the raging torrent of death! Take care chaps, and stay away from that quick sand! Fee x

BW - Sunday, August 23, 2009 at 19:14:54 (PDT)
I suppose that the reason for why you aren't breaking through the quick sand is because you haven't had Chipotle lately! ;)