Ice, ice baby

Date: 2013-12-30
Pos: 66 2.66 S, 144 3.02 W
Sea: 1 m
Wind: SE 14 m/s
Weather: Partly sunny

Our internet connection is now more or less down, sending this post during the last remnants of sporadic connection. 

We have now reached the edge of the ice-covered area which I showed on the Polar View map in the last post. It´s nice to be in ice, since there is not much swell. The waves are dampened by the ice. On the other hand there is the occasional banging in the hull from hitting ice. But for sleeping, this is much better than 5 meters of heave.

The heading is ESE at 13 knots along the edge of the ice area. The estimated time of arrival at the first mooring is now on the evening/night of New Years eve. At this site we will try to recover our mooring rig which is to be put back in later at another location further south. This will make for a less hectic start of our mooring operations, since it is more stressful to recover and also put back a mooring at the same site. As mentioned earlier, sea ice concentrations at our sites looks to be favorable.

The procedure for retrieval of the mooring is the following (Check Sketch of bottom mounted rig figure from blogpost Scientific Background):

- Launch Zodiac (rubberboat) and locate the mooring with GPS.

- Send release command with GPS to releaser at the bottom of the rig.

- The rig is released from bottom weight and floats to the surface due to the top buoy. The     bottom weight (train wheel) is left in place.

- Connect rig to Zodiac and drive to Araon.

- Hoist the rig up on deck with crane.

Done deal!

The Koreans are following the lunar calendar and thus there might not be much of New Years celebrations going on. We will also be working anyway (it´s more or less light all the time now). But I wish all of you a happy new year with good parties, food and friends!

 Crabeater seals

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