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Polar Radar for Ice Sheet Measurements

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Day 9 - May 14 2006

Loading the Greenland Air Twin Otter with our cargo for Flade Isblink

Today dawned partly cloudy. Jonas and JP didn't make the final decision to go until 11 am while waiting to see if the sun would burn off the remaining clouds. Jonas had to first confirm that he was willing to fly, then JP made the final decision to deploy. The camp input took 8 round trips by Twin Otter at about 2 tons per flight to get everything up onto the dome. The first flight departed at 11:15. Lars and Sverrir went along with the first load of cargo to do a reconnaissance for the skidoo route. Sverrir went again on the second flight with more cargo to have a second look and confirm the intended traverse. The first passengers (PAX), Stephan, Bruce and Simon, went on the third flight and began construction of the camp. While the flights continued, first a cargo line was established, then GPS and compass were used to confirm directions and lay out a line for the camp perpendicular to the prevailing winds from the north northwest. After a few more round trips of cargo, Andreas, Dennis and I went with a load of cargo and personal gear on the 6th flight at about the same time that Lars and Sverrir departed on the two skidoos, pulling sleds and their survival gear. The last two flights were devoted to ferrying 19 drums of fuel along with JP on the 8th and final flight.

Andreas and Bruce ferrying plywood sheets for tent floors at Flade Isblink

Flight operations ended at 6:45 pm with the departure of the Twin Otter, and camp setup continued in earnest. Tents for personal sleeping quarters and the weatherport for meals and communal activities were set up in parallel. Sverrir and Lars arrived on skidoo at 8:30 just in time, as a fog bank off the Arctic Ocean rolled in from the northwest by 9:00. Camp construction continued until 11:30 pm or so and then we all congregated in the weatherport for hot chocolate and snacks before calling it a day and going to bed around 1 am.

Unloading cargo at Flade Isblink

The Twin Otter pilots Jonas and Stalle helping Steffan unload drums of diesel at Flade Isblink

Bruce and Steffan constructing the Weatherport at Flade Isblink, our galley, communications center and general point of congregation


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