Kuli South Georgia Expedition

Oct 18

#8:
What a Bunch of Iceholes!

Published at 23:49
Dispatch created from web
Our expedition has had its first whiff off success. Paul led a team to the edge of the Nordenskjold glacier Thursday and returned with three meters of ice core. It is likely the first-ever core sample from South Georgia Ð a first step toward mapping out the climate history of the South Atlantic region.

The core, now sitting in the front of the Pelagic Australis, should reveal climactic secrets going back several hundred years, Paul said. The team won't know the exact details until they conduct laser testing at the UMaine lab, which may be some months from now.

(The drillers had a couple of false starts that yielded only partial cores. Alex Kuli the elder collected them in a Ziploc bag and plans to use them in his cocktails this evening.)

In addition, Paul became the proud owner of a snow pit sample from the Szielsko Ice Cap, lovingly culled by Mario and Bjorn. The boys had to spend four nights in a ramshackle hut on Barff Peninsula's rat-infested beachfront, partly because a storm temporarily blocked off access to the glacier. Upon reaching Szielsko on Tuesday, they determined that it was probably too wet for ice coring. On the map, it looked very promising, Mario said. When we saw how it is, we were not happy.

The pair returned to Szielsko on Wednesday, accompanied by Marcello and Gino the radar man. When coring proved futile, they grabbed a shovel and dug down 2.7 meters, about one and a half times their own height. and took their sample from the walls of the icy pit. Digging was harder than drilling, but the pit protected them from the wind.

The Szielsko sample will reveal the chemical composition of South Georgia's atmosphere over the past few months, enabling scientists to compare South Georgia's atmosphere with that of other regions. And once the team analyzes the ice cores, they will be able to ascertain how South Georgia's current air supply differs from the air that Captain Cook breathed 237 years ago.

Mario and Bjorn speak fondly of their four days on Barff Peninsula. Mario said he was afraid that maybe a rat would come and step around on my face while he slept on the cabin floor, but it never happened.

Bjorn adds that the hut may have been drafty but if there hadn't been any walls at all, they would've been outdoors. Such powers of analysis are sure to propel Bjorn to the top of his PhD class.

Today, we also learned that when a sailboat goes up against an ice floe, the ice floe wins. A couple of good-sized chunks hit the Pelagic with a mighty thwack that made some of us think we might be sinking.

Marcello and Gino returned from a reconnaissance trip Thursday evening, meaning our team is reunited. More exciting coring tales to come!
  • Name: Nordenskjold Glacier
  • Elevation: 0 m
  • Latitude: 54° 220South
  • Longitude: 36° 220West

Comments


  • Report as abuse...
    2012-10-22 12:11:47 Jorge Carrasco says: Hi, I just knewabout your aventure. Good luck and take care of yourselves
  • Report as abuse...
    2012-10-20 02:56:24 Virginia says: But the really important thing is that you got some great Nordenskjold ice to make your cocktails. I do think that should be used for marketing purposes because it sounds so cool. Keep warm boys! xxoo Virginia
  • Report as abuse...
    2012-10-19 15:57:33 Geoff Kuli says: There's nothing like Nordenskjold ice to make a fine cocktail. Could be a good brand of Vodka - Nordenskjold: It's good served kjold. (cold, get it?)
  • Report as abuse...
    2012-10-19 14:00:03 GonzaloC says: I am glad you got the first core hunters ! I wish you a great time ahead and please do not stop reporting Alex: so good tales to read. Saludos en espanol para Gino y Marcelo. Cheers to all !!
  • Report as abuse...
    2012-10-19 12:51:35 Marie Claude Bastres says: Happy Reunion! So many funy tales! Keep us posted, we love it!


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