I wake up in the tent and it is raining. I go back to sleep.
Mike and I both play this game till about 12:35 when he decisively goes out to hunt about in the rain for the remaining tracers the fox has hidden. I sit up, pound out the previous blog entry whilst listening to to my "Roving Music" - one of the rare times I get to hear it while not "sitting in the city where the sun burns hot".
|Having faithfully conveyed to you, the Reader, the events of the past few days, I went out just as the rain stopped. Being that there was no one around, I wandered to the top of our camp's mini-mountain for my "morning" yoga session.|
|There's a waterfall by camp where all of the glacier's melt-water and an unknown amount of the ice sheet's drains. Watersheds are difficult to determine as subglacial plumbing is complex, ever-changing, and generally defies comprehension, not to mention the difficulty of mapping the terrain beneath a kilometer of ice.|
I follow the water down along rocks worn smooth by "innocuous" silt.
And that's what my sensor package and the tracers have to survive (among other things… such as 100m drop free-fall drop into the glacier). Perhaps surprisingly, the tracers have managed all this quite well and the sensor pack, being a prototype, doesn't require such testing, yet.
|Back at camp, Mike and I have breakfast and pack up. He's found all the remaining tracers except one which the fox apparently took to a neighboring valley!|
|Down by the stream, the sample tent has come down. Jemma & Megan are wrapping things up.|
Camp is packed up…
|Mike makes a last trip up the hill to look for the Tracers.|
|I come along for the view.|
|We're burdened with the rest of the camp supplies and a tub of fragile glass syringes containing water samples from the last SF6 dye trace test. Getting to the river crossing requires climbing up through that notch. A lot of the warm clothes come off during that climb and the tub gets passed around.|
|Russel Glacier (does it have a Greenlandic name? I don't know.) pops up to surprise us and musk ox flee to the hills at the sound of our coming.|
|The hike continues till we reach the river crossing where we discover that the pull lines have snapped leaving our dingy dangling by the safety line.|
|But there's nothing for it. We cross in four round-trips, using an ascender to pull the boat. I'm the last one to leave and my arms are a little sore after the hauling. But the night's not over. We drag the lines out of the water (and the river is very resistant to this) and then pull the boat up on shore where it suddenly seems to gain a hundred or so pounds. And then the whole lot is carried in uncountable trips a mile over loose sand and rugged rocks to the pick-up, where we bundle it in a massive pile reaching well over the cab. The last to go is the boat, which requires all six of us to maneuvar it in a contest of strength and, mainly, endurance.|
It's almost a quarter past eleven before we begin the drive and the clouds have blotted out the "midnight twilight". The full beams, we discover, don't stay on by themselves so the driver can choose between steering and seeing. Thoroughly jounced, we get back to KISS (Kangerlussuaq International Science Support) around midnight.
|Where a wonderful supper (Greg says it's the best food he's ever had in Greenland) is waiting to be wolfed down. The tastiest part, though, is the absence of silt and grit (human jawbones have been getting progressively shorter over generations as food becomes easier to chew).|