ALTEX Arctic Cruise
October 7 - November 7, 2001
Tromso, Norway to the Arctic Circle
October 14, 2001: Day #8
Parked in Ice
Mike Pinto writes: Today we traveled further north into multi-year "consolidated" pack ice. This ice is much thicker than first year ice as evidenced by the occasional Healy stop and back-up to get around some of the thicker pieces in our route. With a blanket of snow covering the ice, a 30 knot wind and an outside temperature of -3.9 degrees Celsius (25 degrees F.), this place looked and felt like the North Pole!
We traveled this far north to allow the JPL scientists to collect older ice cores to assist in their work on validating satellite images of the ice pack. The group nick-named a large ice floe identified on a satellite image as "Big Mama" and hoped the Healy could locate it for further study.
Due to the weather, all AUV vehicle ops were cancelled for the day. This gave everyone a chance to catch-up on work and take time to photograph and watch the ice breaking from either the bridge or for the more warm-blooded - the bow of the Healy. Drew Gashler had the opportunity to scout out some areas that might be candidates for the first attempt to fly the AUV under the ice, hopefully tomorrow. We had the choice of prime rib, prawns, or clam strips with all the extras tonight for dinner. Afterwards, most everyone were back at the computers in the science lab.
Ps: No polar bear sightings...