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Herschel Island 2013: Increasing Excitement

(photo: U. Bastian) George the explorer and his daily challenge of wet boots(photo: U. Bastian) George the explorer and his daily challenge of wet bootsSaturday, 20th of July 2013
 
Hello,

We started a new system. Now I get several blog love letters every night, with everyone's daily activities and highlights to keep you guys even better updated. I can tell you that there are some really funny letters for you.

For example, George told me in his perfect first grade school handwriting, that he got his boot stuck in the mud.
 
I honestly do not know what day he meant, because he manages to come home every day with wet feet. He takes every chance to make an adventure of trying to cross the river, climbing up the highest ice headwall, getting stuck core barrels out of the Permafrost or passing mud pools.

By doing this he gives me a good chance to find a better access to come home dry feed.

Another blog love letter from Hugues tells me how proud he is today to have collected 42 samples with Boris, Louise, and me on the boat – sub-sea surface samples in three transects of the shoreline with the gravity sampler.

That works like a power shovel and he tries to reconstruct the sediment transport around the shoreline of Herschel Island.
 
Hugues got the boat into the right GPS position and tried to keep it there, while Boris leaned half over the boat with a 15m long rope attached to his measuring device, which he put into the water.

As soon as it touched the ground, he lifted it up again and it grabbed the mud from the sea surface.
 
I was lucky enough to have the relaxed job of writing on the sampling bags and Louise of writing the GPS coordinates into the field book, as well as other information such as water depth, sample number, and our number of attempts...up to six failures per position kept us freezing out there for a while.

(Photo: L. Beveridge) Boris and Stefanie as the front sampling crew of our boat "Christine"(Photo: L. Beveridge) Boris and Stefanie as the front sampling crew of our boat "Christine"It is really difficult to keep the boat in position in the strong current and wind, not to freeze like hell due to minimized moving possibilities, and better not drink too much hot tea on a moving boat for several hours without a "bathroom".

In the meanwhile, I just got an additional blog love letter about George's field day. It seems to be a competition of the most exciting and successful day.

They even started talking about seeing fire spitting dragons.
 
Not sure if the isolation on the island is that good for us.
 
Today I just have memories of four caribou, some muskox, geese, dugs, jellyfish, little sandworms stuck in Boris's mud samples, and one little shrimp.

The drilling group made up of Micha, Juliane, and George were again struggling today with (Photo: S. Weege) Michael and Juliane walking steadily up the hill with the heavy coring field equipment.(Photo: S. Weege) Michael and Juliane walking steadily up the hill with the heavy coring field equipment.thousands of mosquitos and an advanced bathroom problem, with the eternally-following black cloud of mosquitos around them.
 
They were taking a fantastic 200cm long Permafrost core in the ecological unit "Orca".

You have to imagine, that in the beginning just our vegetation girls Isla, Louise and Jule had a clue of what we are actually looking for, but now everyone is learning across his field of science about other topics such as vegetation and permafrost features.

The drilling points are chosen from different appearances on satellite images and by looking at the flowers, soil, and shrub surface defined several years ago.
 
So today´s sampling spot was a typical flood plain with lots of shrubs.
 

(Photo: S. Weege) Michael and his thousand mosquitos measuring the angle of the slope with an inclinometer.(Photo: S. Weege) Michael and his thousand mosquitos measuring the angle of the slope with an inclinometer.After getting stuck yesterday in a sticky clay soil slope at a depth of 150cm, everyone was very proud today to come home with samples all the way down to 200cm.
 
We all hope that we will get even more than the twelve Permafrost cores already for Jaroš and his carbon monitoring project mapping of Herschel Island.

Because the past few nights we also had two bears walking through camp, everyone is now sleeping in houses instead of tents with radios and appropriate bear defenses.

Greetings from your mosquito and wind-marked field scientist.
 
We realized that our hands and faces are not as dirty as expected because of some intense sunshine and our tanned skin.
 

Written by Stefanie
 
 
 
 
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