Tuesday, February 9, 2010
RESEARCH IN THE ARCTIC
Yesterday, we served as a taxi for some science researchers who were dropping off on King George Island and we were going away with two others who were not going to winter in Antarctica. It was the Arctowski Base named after Henry who overwintered (as they call it) in this station in 1897-1899. It’s a base managed by the Polish Academy of Sciences. The two scientists boated out from the base and gave us some idea of what it was like to live and work there. Mostly they were concerned about marine biology, oceanography, geology, glaciology, meteorology, seismology, magnetism and ecology. This is a site designated as a site of Special Scientific Interest (SSI). Holly and I may catch a flight if the weather permits to fly to another research base on this same island. We all wanted to know the mundane things. How do you communicate? Of course, by internet and they phone by skype. They come with a year’s frozen food. They have a small gym. They visit the nearby Brazilian research station. The Americans have a station nearby they’ve nicknamed the Copacabana because it’s on the beach. But they are – ahem – most of them anyhow – on the beach, on the coast. This location has an opportunity to observe whales and seals, and is very busy. They get back and forth in small vessels called Zodiaks.