Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Wondering if everything works...

Yesterday, Craig and I took a quick assessment of what we had and what we needed to get off to a productive start. We located everything, but waited until today to see what worked and what didn't. Once we knew that, the afternoon was set aside for repairs and getting everything ready for sampling permafrost cores on the tundra tomorrow. 

However, before we launched into any repairs, we drove to the airport to pick up the rest of our team. David, Taniya, and Ken stayed last night in Fairbanks and then joined Larry and Bob for the trip northward. David organized a similar sampling trip last April and Ken was our seasoned drill rig operator. We were glad to have him back this year. As for Taniya, this was her first trip to Barrow so I was looking forward to watching her this week and gaging her reaction to field research on the North Slope. I trust she will have a great time with our science and her interactions with people in Barrow.

Today, one of first jobs as a group was pulling out the hydraulic drill rig and making sure it worked. We used this last year and although we had prepared it for 12 months of sitting in the cold, we knew that it would require some careful attention before it would come to life. Ken and Larry replaced the oil, topped for the hydraulic fuel, filled the gas tank, and cleaned the spark plug. I won't say that is started on the first try, but it was running and ready to go within 30 minutes.

We had to dig out the sea-land container to find a few of our other supplies. Once the snow was cleared, we retrieved our SIPRE auger and soon had all the pieces organized for tomorrow. Other bits and pieces were retrieved as well and, by the end of the day, we all felt confident that we had everything we needed for a successful start to our field campaign in the morning.