Nov 15 – Beautiful beyond words

November 22, 2009

We had a very relaxed day today. John made us delicious crepes for brunch in the morning. We had “showers” which basically involve filling an insulated bag with water and sitting under the “tap” in the bag. In the evening, I ended up drinking rather too much of coffee which made me hyperactive. I decided to go for a hike up the hill to see ventifacts. John and Emma decided to come too. It was one of the most beautiful walks of my life and I cannot describe it in words. Below are some pictures.

It had snowed all night. Chris got to work and made snowmen. Emma, Bill, Chris, Bart, Kristof, and Vickie.

John on our way up to see the ventifacts. In the background is Taylor glacier. To the right is east lobe of Lake Bonney leading up to the narrows.

Myself. Thanks to John for this photo.

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Emma.

At the top of the hill. The "zen garden" in John's words.

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Nov 14 – Traveling east

November 22, 2009

We spent the morning looking at data from yesterday and trying to debug the communications failure problem. We had some ideas but we were not sure what the exact problem was. The mission for the day involvedĀ  traveling to the narrows – the part of lake that connects west lobe to the east lobe. The bot swam about 1.5 km to reach the far east – this is the farthest the bot had ever been. Much remains
unknown about this part of the lake and we were very excited to see the visualizations from the sonars on the bot. We might go there again later for getting more data.
While returning back, we had the same comms failure again. In a flash of inspiration, I was able to figure out what the problem was – a process that had memory leaks and was slowly eating up RAM till 100% was used.
Midway through the mission, it started to snow and Vickie and Bill had a tough time outdoors. It is fairly rare to snow in the dry valleys, so I was very excited. At the end of the day, Bill showed me how to track the robot using the radio beacon. Overall, this was a very good day for us and we have decided to take the day off tomorrow.

A map of lake Bonney showing the profiling points. The points that we have finished are shown in green. Today we went to the point farthest east (D21) on the grid. This point is at the far east of West lobe and at the start of "the narrows" - the narrow channel of water connecting the west lobe to the east lobe.

Bill and Vickie at the end of the day. They were out all day tracking the robot and marking the exact location at whihc it profiled. It snowed half the day making their task difficult.

The first snowfall I have ever seen.


Day off

November 10, 2009

After our long day yesterday, we decided to take the day off today. We saw a movie on the projector in our jamesway last night and went to bed around 3:00 a.m. I woke around 2:00 p.m. today to a warm day (temperature right now is only -7 Celsius), had breakfast, and walked around bit. Then I chilled out with some music and a book. At night, I cooked one of my favorite dishes for dinner and Vickie made brownies. It’s been a relaxing day and was badly needed!

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I wandered around for a bit to enjoy the warm day. Lake Bonney camp. We drive up the valley on the lake ice to the Bot-house.

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Out tents. My tent is to the far right.

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Chris chilling out with a book on the "couch" in the jamesway.

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Vickie making brownies.