Where there is sea ice, there are scientists sampling water.
To extend our water sampling beyond Fish Hut 12, this weekend we checked out skidoos and a Pisten Bully and set out for the scenic area of Cape Evans. After a sunny and windless journey, we drilled holes with view of Mt. Erebus, glaciers, islands, Royal Society Mountain Range, and icebergs in the background.
Composed of a motor, multiple flights, a bit, and two people, the Jiffy drill does a remarkable job of creating a perfectly round ice hole. Though it’s a bit slow in the beginning, gets caught on ice towards the end, and requires a lot of core muscle and triceps strength, the final exodus of slushy seawater when we broke through the ice was very satisfying.
It was nearly warm but this being Antartica, our Nisken bottle froze between sampling.
We quickly learned that only a dry Nisken bottle and a quick dispensing of water would lead to success. Below a picture of a freezing water sample posing in front of the icebergs and Mt. Erebus.