Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Sunday 18th August 2013

Once again the wind was gusting over fifty knots but there was no blowing snow and not a cloud in the sky. I woke up early so decided to do my Saturday duties which this week was mopping out the three cold porch's.

Over the last couple of days with bright sunshine, no drifting snow and low humidity major changes have taken place around the station and on the sea ice. Lots of snow has evaporated from the radiant heat and areas have even become dusty. In Horse Shoe Harbour most of the snow on the sea ice has now gone and left the shiny sea ice. It's still minus twelve but all the snow has gone from hard and squeaky to soft and almost wet and mushy. The surface texture has changed from smooth to all scalloped. I was thinking of going ice skating out on the harbour, but I don't think it would be much fun in this wind. It amazes me the many different states of snow from fluffy feathers, to tiny balls, icing sugar, squeaky, dry, wet, compacted, loose and sculptured.

I have been doing a bit of research on the blue ice up on the plateau and it is actually moving up to thirty meters a year, so no wonder you can hear it cracking and groaning as it moves. Luc is building a thermometer so we can measure the mean temperature of the ice three meters down. The huge rocks and moraine you see floating on the ice are actually sinking very slowly due to their density being two and a half times that of water and by the rocks heating up from the suns solar radiation. They will slowly sink over time and either be deposited up to thousands of kilometres away as erratic glacial deposits or disappear into the ocean or carried away in an ice berg. Around station is littered with glacial erratics and you can also see the scars in the bedrock where they have scrapped across before being released into the ocean.

After a shower I made myself a quick bite for brunch and then headed down to the radio shack to finish reassembling my amplifier. It didn't take me too long to get it all back together, then I took it off the bench and placed it on the floor where it will stay till hopefully I get a new valve flown in on V1 in November.

I did a bit more work on the DDUtil program and made a major breakthrough, but unfortunately the parallel port on the PC is still not working which makes me think it could be a PC or OS issue? Maybe I need a new driver for the parallel port? Anyway I'll get back to that another time.

There was a bit of propagation happening and I worked quite a few stations from the USA, Canada, Alaska and also a woman from Green Land. I don't think you could get any further than that for Mawson.

I called it quits around five as I had left a bottle of campaign and a new book in the cold porch of the Ops building on the way down to take with me to the spa. It was a real let down when I got to the spa only to find the water had only heated up to twenty degrees. Oh well, maybe tomorrow.

I went back to my room and worked on my Blog for a while and around eight I went out and scrounged up some scraps to eat. After a bit of a chomp I wandered up to the cinema to see what was going down and a movie had just started about Nelson Mandela. I take my hat off to the guy who after twenty seven years in political incarceration had no ill feeling towards white South Africans.

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