My research team and I are now camped on the shores of Lake Obersee, a few km NE of Lake Untersee in the mountains of Queen Maud Land.
It was a pretty long trip getting out here, but we finally made it late Wednesday (Nov 20th) night at 11 pm or so. We started out for Lake Obersee with our three snowmobiles in the morning traveling inland about an hour but we were turned back by white-out conditions. Having checked in with the radio-ops personnel at Novo Station we waited until about 4 pm and tried again....the local Novo weather guesser suggested that the weather would break and by 6pm providing us with a window that would last until morning. Well, we got out an hour and again met up with the same whiteout conditions, but this time we pushed on knowing that the ALCI Toyota trucks were behind us with help if needed.
It took about 7 hours for us to get to the lake and offload the gear. By 3am we had one of our Mountain Hardware Stronghold tents up which afforded us the chance to get warm, get a few snacks into us along with a few thermoses of warm water before turning in for a little sleep. The next morning we slept in until about 10 am and after a quick bite to eat we began putting the camp together and drilling a small hole into the lake for drinking water. Our camp is now completely set up with three Mountain Hardware Stronghold tents serving as the cook/communal tent, a lab tent and a dive tent, along with several other smaller pyramid tents serving as sleeping quarters for 3 of the 5 team members and another as our Antarctic outhouse.
I will stay in the dive tent, and Vladimir will stay in the lab tent. All is going well. It has been cloudy and windy since we arrived with winds hitting 45 kts or so with blowing snow, but that is ok, we are enjoying the beauty of the area, and looking forward to getting to work in the coming days! Earlier today we drilled a hole further out from the shore, looking for a water depth of 15 -20 meters and found a nice site just under 16 m depth so we will begin melting a dive hole tomorrow weather permitting. Its a bit too windy right now to start that operation up.
If my coms hold up via my Iridium satellite phone, I will try to post additional notes to you regarding our progress. If I drop off the map so to speak, apologies in advance... just means that a piece of hardware I use has stopped working.
Lake Untersee 2013 Field Team
- Dale Andersen - SETI Institute
- Vladimir Akimov - Institute of Microbiology, Moscow
- Alfonso Davila - SETI Institute
- Andrew Abercromby - Wyle Science, Technology & Engineering Group, Houston, TX
- Klemens Weisleitner - Master Student, University of Innsbruck Institute of Ecology
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