Monday, 16 February 2009

After the inauguration the work continues

The internet connection at the camp has been interrupted since a week and is still not working properly. It should have been repaired today.
The media seemed not to have problems with their own equipment.
It's intriguing how dependent one can be from this service.
Communication is very important, especially in remote regions like this. For the moment the internet is working again, and everybody is happy about it. Not only for the publicity, with the inauguration on Sunday, but particularly for the possibility to send and receive messages to and from our families.

Today the weather at Utsteinen is perfect and calm with a clear sky.
Wednesday was a very cloudy,windy day with snowdrift in the morning. The snow was going everywhere and even if it was not too cold, it was around -10°C, the wind made it feel very uncomfortable.
With certain jobs, like screwing something for example or reading out the weatherstation's datalogger and writing the current weather data in the logbook, your fingers got frozen after only one minute. I was lucky to have this great thick "Arctic extreme" mittens in which the fingers warm up rapidly.

Thursday was a very bright day: only a few thin cirrus clouds showed up. It was the ideal day to carry out measurements with the sunphotometer. However, the wind was very fresh.
Although the sunphotometer and the aethalometer are running very well without necessarily standing beside it, I always prefer to watch the data coming in and watch if everything works well during these first measuring days.
In the evening the wind calmed down and the sky was clear. Air temperatures fell to -15°C and the ground temperature to -21°C. It was the coldest night so far. In the morning the vapour from my breath was frozen at the inner side of my tent.
It was a good idea to keep my toothpaste and skin protecting cream in my sleeping bag during the night... All the other lotions were frozen ;-) Nevertheless the tent is warming up during the day and things become usable again.

On Saturday we were mainly busy with the preparations for the inauguration of the station on Sunday. This was indeed a big job. Everybody was busy with tidying up the station, the garages and the space around the station. Work lasted till late at night.

Sunday brought,as if it was ordered, the brightest day so far: clear sky and almost no wind, the perfect weather for the inauguration.

Not only could I nicely demonstrate the instruments, but at the same time they did good measurements, which is not a certainty in atmospheric measurements. So, beside the great pleasure and warm feeling I had, to be able to attend the inauguration of the Princess Elisabeth Station, the scientist in me was also very satisfied with the nice measurements.

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