The 2009 expedition has started. Vickie and Chris have already reached McMurdo station.
This year we aim to map the entire west lobe of Lake Bonney. We will camp at the Lake Bonney camp instead of Blood Falls. Rachel has worked on ENDURANCE from the start and will be part of the field team this year. We also have a cook and camp manager, Emma. Having her should make our life a bit easier. Emma has also flown out to McMurdo.
This year’s mission has started earlier than last year. Last year, we reached the field in last week of November. This year we will be there in October. The temperature in October is significantly lower than in November – see the graph at this site. This site says that the temperature is -24 Celsius, but Vickie’s email says that it is -56 Celsius. Vickie probably has the correct number. So I am preparing to be very cold this year.
Vickie and Chris have a lot of work to do. For one, they have to test the new batteries for ENDURANCE which should have about twice the life of the batteries we used last year, enabling us to perform longer missions. They have to inventory all equipment we left behind, and power up the bot and make sure everything works correctly.
I am leaving for Christchurch, NZ on Oct 16. Many of the team members will leave in less than a week from now.