Sunday, October 10, 2010

It isn't over yet...

A hard day today for me.  Last week a small crevasse was discovered running the length of one of the out-buildings.  Although the crack in the ice was only about an inch wide, it was approximately 30 feet long.  Today the width had increased to about two inches and it was felt that it was best to restrict access to the area with black danger flags.  Although no one would fall into a crevasse that narrow, we don't know what is under it - it could be two inches at the surface and two feet wide a foot down. It could be thirty feet deep for all we know. Although unlikely, it could be large enough to swallow a piece of heavy equipment - again it just depends on what is under the surface.

There are ice tunnels in the area , and we do not know if this crack is over one of them or not.  Adding to the concern, another crack was found today about a hundred yards way in the waste area.  All will bear watching.

So this morning I rounded up an ice drill, some black flags, and marked off the larger crevasse to keep heavy equipment away from the area.  It was -71 with 15 mph wind, with ice fog and very poor visibility, and it was cold - -119 wind chill.  Everyone agrees that although today was not really different from many other days, it just seemed colder for some reason.  I did not put on enough ECW gear, thinking I would only be outside for half an hour, but I ended up taking about two hours to place those flags. I have to put more flags out either this afternoon or tomorrow morning.   Everything takes longer and is harder to do here than other places.  A surveyor is coming in on one of the Baslers in a few weeks and he will be looking at the cracks and trying to determine what is under them.

I'll try to take some pictures of me drilling holes and putting flags in the ice, but that is hard to do because it is so cold.

On a lighter note, we had the last raffle for the national flags that flew at the Pole this winter and I won one.  There were only three flags left: France, Russia and Argentina, so I picked France.  I would have liked to have had Norway because 2010 is the 100th anniversary of Norwegian Raoul Amundsen reaching the Pole, but it had already been chosen.

I'll try to post some pictures from when I place more black flags.


Fern Emma said...

I am a stranger who just happened across this blog and thought your topic intriguing.

As you come to the close of your time at the far end of South I want to let you know that I have been following your writings regularly, and have appreciated that you have taken time to write this blog so faithfully. I have enjoyed seeing the beautiful and eerie pictures from a distant region I will never visit. Thank you.

J. C. Reaves said...

Thank you, Fern Emma. I have appreciated your comments and questions. But don't sign off just yet - there are still three weeks to go!

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