Dale Andersen's Field Reports

Dale Andersen’s Astrobiology Antarctic Status Report: 7 November 2023: Bad Weather At Lake Untersee

By Keith Cowing
Status Report
Dal Andersen
November 7, 2023
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Dale Andersen’s Astrobiology Antarctic Status Report: 7 November 2023: Bad Weather At Lake Untersee
Current weather in the region 9highlighted) around Lake Untersee

Hi Keith, Yesterday here at Lake Untersee, we experienced a day of contrasting weather. It started off beautifully with plenty of sunshine and very little wind. The highlight of the day, our seasoned field team member, Birgit Sattler, rejoined us, arriving via a Twin Otter aircraft operated by Ultima-Antarctic Logistics and operated by the skilled Ken Borek pilots.

The serene weather, however, took a dramatic turn in the afternoon. Winds began to surge, reaching gusts of over 70 mph. This sudden change in weather conditions led to the unfortunate loss of one of our North Face Dome tents. We acted swiftly during the ground blizzard that had formed to secure the tent and its contents by weighing it down with rocks.

The windy conditions persisted throughout the night, with gusts continuously hitting between 50-70 mph. Fortunately, by 7 a.m., the winds had subsided. Today, we are greeted again by mostly sunny skies and calm winds, providing us with an opportunity to clean up the snowdrifts and reorganize our site.

Our Heimplanet Mavericks tents proved their worth last night, standing firm against the gusty winds. We anticipate another test for them this coming Thursday, as the forecast predicts even stronger winds.

Embarking on scientific research and exploration in extreme environments is not only a test of skill but also an inspiring journey of resilience and adaptation. To thrive and succeed in such challenging conditions, one needs more than just scientific expertise; it requires additional skill sets and an immense reserve of patience and persistence. These traits are essential in navigating the unpredictable and often harsh elements, whether it’s the icy expanses of Antarctica or the remote reaches of a Martian desert.

Cheers from the shores of Lake Untersee

Novolazarevskaya Station
Novolazarevskaya Station

Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA Space Station Payload manager/space biologist, Away Teams, Journalist, Lapsed climber, Synaesthete, Na’Vi-Jedi-Freman-Buddhist-mix, ASL, Devon Island and Everest Base Camp veteran, (he/him) 🖖🏻