I just got off the phone with Dale Andersen who is at Lake Obersee, Antarctica.
He reports that his team's dives have been a success and that microbial mat and water column samples have been taken. He also notes that the bottom of Lake Obersee is utterly different than its next door neighbor Lake Untersee (where they have dived in previous years).
Dale said "Its hard to believe that these lakes are so close to each other given how different they are from one another". More dives are planned for the next week or so. Then they pull up their camp and prepare to come home.
Dale says he fully expects to be home in time for the holidays - "if the weather gods cooperate". Dale is going to try and compress a photo that their quadricopter took and send it to me. Given that he uses Iridium phones for communication (we lost our connection twice today) this is a bit of a challenge.
FWIW Dale and I have been running websites on his expeditions for a long time - indeed we ran what may well be one of - if not the first website ever updated FROM antarctica - it is still online - see http://www.astrobiology.com/lter/
Update: I just got this email from Dale:
Thanks for the interesting news earlier today. Just after we spoke I took the DJI Phantom quadcopter out for a quick flight so I could get a shot of our camp here at Lake Obersee. As you can see, our home away from home is pretty nice.
The central dome tent (Mountain Hardwear Stronghold) is our communal cook tent. The Stronghold on the right is the laboratory tent (and also where Vladimir Akimov sleeps), the Stronghold on the left is the dive tent (where I keep all the suits, regulators, compressor etc. and where I sleep), the three pyramid tents on the right are the tents for Alfonso Davila, Andrew Abercromby, and Klemens Weisleintner; and the pyramid tent on the far left is the latrine tent (all wastes trash, liquids etc. are stored and returned to Novolazarevskaya Station for proper disposal).
Next to the snowmobile at the bottom of the image are Andrew and myself. I am in the orange/red jacket flying the Phantom. Andrew had just returned from a site on the lake where he was using the underwater ROV (A VideoRay Pro 3 remotely operated vehicle) to observe the microbial communities in the lake.
Cheers from the shores of Lake Obersee,
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