Saturday, February 6, 2010

Across the Antarctic Circle

Today, as I got up, we passed the Antarctic Circle in transit to the next drill site. We were all taking pictures and watching the ice. When we arrived at the innermost shelf site we were surrounded by so many icebergs that it was too dangerous to stay. A whale came to check us out, but left quickly.

We moved to a site further out on the shelf so that we would have the opportunity to move away to the North out of the icy waters if visibility would deteriorate. From here we can still see the pack ice (sea ice) in the distance. It has gotten colder during the day. This evening it was the first time I put all my cold weather gear on with all the hats and gloves. Bad weather is coming in this evening: we will be hit by 60 knot winds and snow. It is very likely that drilling operations will have to be shut down, but for the moment we have the drillstring in the sea floor and are moving ahead. I just saw the first core coming up and it had mud with gravel in it. The second one is about to come up soon.

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