Delay Day Dos

The Antarctic is in charge! Conditions were not up to snuff on the runway, yet again. I do hope I get to post about the ice soon. With a 24 hour delay in our back pocket, we headed to the coastal town of Sumner to walk the beaches, search for critters in the tide pools, and PID (positively identify) birds.


Scientists (seal physiologists, seal ecologists, glaciologists) walk the beach. 

Red-billed gull nesting colony

Red-billed gull overlooking Sumner beach. The gull nesting colony is just below in the cliffs.

The red-billed gulls find delight in bathing in the clean water of the children's pool

Alissa with a commanding view of Sumner

The report from the ice is that sea ice conditions are improving, meaning that cracks (these are formed from opposing forces from glaciers pushing out to sea or from tidal action) are healing (freezing or becoming smaller) and ice is thickening. Our on-the-ice seal crew has been driving a piston bully (no snowmobile travel allowed yet) to lay roads, which entails drilling holes in the ice and placing bamboo flags every 20 meters or so. This allows the team to travel safely, flag to flag, knowing where all the cracks are and able to navigate under poor visibility conditions.

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