Saturday, December 15, 2007

Made it back home!

After a long journey I have made it back home. The C-17 came in and brought us back to New Zealand. It was quite cold and windy when we were waiting on the sea ice to board the aircraft, but we were enjoying our last minutes on the ice. The cold is part of the experience and we certainly got used to it! While we were waiting our luggage was loaded onto the aircraft. Note the sea-ice firetruck, a track vehicle. It was a full flight with around 80 people coming back from the ice. After we took off, we were able to move around within the aircraft. It has 4 windows and I spent most of the first two hours looking at the icy landscapes below. First we traveled above the sea ice of the Ross Sea. One could see that it is Summer now and it is starting to break up. The Antarctic sea ice forms every Winter and breaks up every Summer. Later, we were flying across the front of the Transantarctic Mountains and one could see glaciers flowing through valleys and merging with the sea ice of the Ross Sea. Ice flows very slowly and it can flow uphill as well, but it eventually flows out to sea, where it breaks up into icebergs that are carried North by the ocean currents.
Now that the science team has made it home, we will all work in our labs in collaboration with students to analyze the core further. You can check this site for science updates. I will post pictures and information of our lab work once the samples have come in. They have been shipped from the ice and will arrive in the next few weeks. Happy holidays everyone!

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