Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Excitement is not what you want in borehole logging...

David took the night shift for logging and so I turned in last night
around 11 with good weather and everything working well.  But it
wasn't to last!  David woke me at 03:30 after suffering a power
failure; the generator running the winch cut out.  The reason this is
a big deal is that the winch uses power to hold itself stationary
(there isn't a mechanical brake).  So the winch began to freewheel,
spooling cable down the hole.  Fortunately David managed to stop it
and switch power over to our alternative source, a solar-charged
battery.  Once up, I got the generator going again, and we resumed the

But that's not all!  the weather has been nothing but blue skies for
the past several days, and this morning when David woke me up, we were
socked in with ice fog and a bit of wind (about 12 knots).  With no
horizon or surface definition, it'd be nearly impossible (and quite
dangerous) to land a plane, so the aviation coordinators at McMurdo
have decided to push back our scheduled flight for tomorrow.  We
talked with the weather forecasters and they are not too optimistic
for a clearing before at least a few days, and possibly a week is


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