Because this project is also about how de-glaciations and climate change affect the lake, we need to know as much about it as possible, including the exact contours of its bottom, and how the temperature changes around the lake.
That’s why I have been doing a bathymetry survey over the past few days. That means driving the zodiac at a comfortably slow pace all around the lake, while recording the depth and temperature data.
Some people think that this is not the most interesting job in the world, but I love it, especially starting early in the morning, when the lake is calm, and travelling up to the northern reaches. The base camp is already far away from civilization, so to be far away from the base camp provides an even greater sense of being alone in nature.
Tomorrow my survey route should take me past the waterfalls that flow out of the glacier. I’ll try to take some good photos to post.
Posted by Eric
Suzan Lee Collecting Solar Rays
When you look at a picture of the base camp, with its 4 dome tents, the kitchen tent, the 8 sleeping tents, plus all the scientific equipment, computers, food, and personal gear, All perched on the only
flat spot on a glacial terminal moraine, you can’t help but wonder how it all got there from nearest road.
Having been through this type of expedition before, Cristian hired a
local mule team to transport the boxes, bags, and crates up the hill and through the bolder field to the base camp site. It took 2 and a half days for 6 mules to move all the gear to the site. That’s a big
PLL Photgrapher Lisa Blatt
After several cool days, and some snow flurries, the Sun Returns.
Sunday, after several days of cold weather, was sunny and warm, and we
sure did take advantage of it. After a week without bathing or
washing, everybody in camp took some time after lunch for
Gonzalo and Andres set up a Solar Shower, and we all carried extra
buckets of water from the lake up to Base Camp to wash our clothes in,
then spreading them out on the rocks to dry in the sun. Tents were
swept, sleeping bags aired, chins were shaved, and before long we were
all back at work with an elevated enthusiasm.
Tonight after dinner we had several rounds of “Rock, Paper Scissors”
for the last 3 tiny bites of a particularly delicious chocolate bar,
The winners were Andres, ( our Paramedic) Nicolas, and Suzan.
Foggy Dome tents
With the Planetary Lake Lander proudly floating at the temporary
mooring close to the Base Camp Landing, The team still had a lot of
work to do today. Susan Lee, in charge of hardware for the lander, was
busy with the solar array design. With the possibility of only getting
3 hours of sunlight during the winter, the array is a critical
component to the success of the project.
Our official Expedition Photographer Lisa Blatt, Spent a good portion
of the day climbing the hills behind the base camp to continue her
documentation of the project. Lisa has participated in quite a few
scientific field expeditions, including several with Principal
Investigator Nathalie Cabrol. Hopefully you’ll be able to see some of
her work here soon, but if you’d like to see some of her photos from
prior trips, go to her website.
Inside the tent
Eric continued the bathymetric survey the northern reaches of the
lake, where the glacial melt water still enters the lake in
Lake Lander Calm
Glad to report that food is very good at the base camp, because we are
all hungry all the time from working on the Planetary Lake Lander and
the other projects supporting its launch.
We have a dome tent big enough for the whole team to gather at a long
table and eat meals, prepared by our official Chef Nicolas. Although
lunch time can be warm and comfortable, the mornings and evenings are
pretty cold, creating an extra sense of camaraderie when we gather
around the table.
Since all of the gear has to be transported to the Base Camp on
somebody’s back, The meals themselves are often what you might call
“expedition style cuisine”. But it makes us all happy.