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NPEO 2002 Images, more coming soon

Reports from the NPEO 2002 Deployment


April 9 - Jim Johnson and Dean Stewart arrive in Resolute with the charter C-130 Hercules carrying the container with scientific equipment that had earlier been trucked to Yellowknife.

April 10 - Knut Aagaard arrives in Resolute via Ottawa. Testing of instruments for the new mooring.

April 14 - Jamie and Andy phoned from Resolute. Knut and Jim flew in the Twin Otter to Eureka Sunday, but a subsequent attempt by the Twin to establish a fuel cache north of Alert did not work out because of weather. The helicopter arrived in Resolute via Cambridge Bay. Weather permitting, Jamie will take the helicopter to Eureka Monday. Andy and Dean are in Resolute awaiting the rest of the team.

April 15 - Jamie reached Eureka from Resolute with the helicopter. Weather north of Alert too bad for Twin Otter fuel cache attempt. Sigrid, Tim, Mike, Paul, Eric and Roger fly commercial from home to Yellowknife. Borneo position 88 degrees 45 minutes North and 93 degrees 08 minutes East.

April 16 - Update in Eureka - Knut and Jim Johnson arrived here on Sunday on the Twin Otter. The weather between here and the pole has been too poor to put out the fuel cache. Jamie arrived here Monday the 15th after a beautiful but laborious helo flight up from Resolute. We are waiting now for the weather to clear between here and the Pole. Sigrid, Tim, Mike, Paul, Eric and Roger fly from Yellowknife to Resolute on the charter FirstAir Hawker Siddley 748 to be used for the flights to Borneo, joining Andy and Dean there. Twin Otter and helicopter waiting for weather in Eureka with Knut, Jim, and Jamie.

April 17 - Update on the update - The weather has improved enough for the first flight to the fuel cache and the Twin Otter should be taking off momentarily. There will be three such flights, and if they go off in order, we should be able to head to Borneo (North Pole) later on Thursday. With warmest regards, Jamie, Knut, and Jim

April 17 - Morning Borneo position 88deg 45min N 97deg E Two Twin Otter flights were accomplished this day from Eureka to establish a fuel cache near 86deg 30min N and 70deg W, the second completed after midnight local time. An ARGOS buoy was put out to track the drift of the cache.

April 18 - Borneo 88deg 33min N 93deg 54min E Fuel cache 86deg 24min N 71deg W With the cache in place and decent weather, today the plan is to fly the helicopter to Borneo via the cache escorted by the Twin.

April 18 - Update VERY LATE Borneo 88deg 23 min N 99deg 24 min E Twin Otter and helo arrived at Borneo with Jamie, Knut and Jim. Hawker Sidley 748 flight #1 via Alert with divers set to take off from Resolute April 19.

April 19 - Hawker Sidley 748 at Resolute delayed because of need to avoid an Anatov jet from Svalbard waiting on runway at Borneo. This first 748 flight departed resolute at 10:40 a.m. local time for Borneo loaded with mooring recover/deployment and diving equipment, and the divers: Mike Paul and Eric. Borneo runway reported to be 1000 m with another 200 meter being repaired. Fuel cache Argos position: 86deg 29 min N 76deg 04 min W. Weather good everywhere this morning but forecasted to go down at Resolute this evening. Local time at Resolute is PDT plus 2 hours.

April 19 - 4.45pm Friday, from Roger in Resolute Jim and Knut have released the mooring and it is up as planned (cf http://psc.apl.washington.edu/northpole/MooringRecovery.html) under a suitable piece of ice. There is a twin otter strip right at the site. The drift of the position is being monitored from Seattle via an argos sender. Knut and Jim plan to return to the site tomorrow to start setting up the recovery camp. The Hawker Siddley has left Resolute carrying all 3 divers and should be arriving at Borneo soon. The plane will return to Alert tonight, and to Resolute tomorrow. It is planned to return to Borneo on Sunday, with 2/3rds of the new mooring deployment and the J-CAD buoy. Weather today was good everywhere. Expecting a blizzard in Resolute tonight. The runway at Borneo was extended 200m today, making it a total of 1200m in length.

April 21 - From Andy Heiberg in Resolute - Second flight to Borneo in process with Tim Stanton, his gear, and rest of Knut's equipment. Third one tomorrow (4/22/02) with Sigrid, Roger, Takashi, Hirokatsu, and Andy. Weather is good.

April 21 - From Knut Aagaard in Borneo - Mooring has been recovered.

April 23 - Phone call from Roger Andersen at Borneo, 11:00 a.m. PDT, 4/23/02 - Borneo position at 1000 GMT 88 deg 32.4N, 87 deg 53.6E. The last of us got to Borneo on Monday, 4/22: Andy, Sigrid, Takashi, Hirokatsu, and Roger. Eric went back to Resolute 4/22/02, and is expected to catch the Wednesday flight out of Resolute to home. Mooring work is done. Knut, Jim, Paul and Mike will stay at the mooring camp (approx. 40 miles from Borneo) tonight, and will catch the first twin otter flight back to Borneo in the morning. They (Knut, Jim, Paul and Mike) are expected to leave Borneo on the 748 flight on Friday. The JCAD buoy will be deployed by twin otter on the Siberian side of the Lomonosov Ridge on Wednesday, 4/24. Dean and Roger will fly with Hirokatsu and Takashi to assist with the buoy deployment. Jamie has spent most of day on the Helo, doing 4 CTD stations on the Lomonosov Ridge. Sigrid and Tim are busily working on putting in their buoy array at Borneo.

April 24 - Telephone call from Andy Heiberg, 10:00 a.m., PDT, 4/24/02 - The weather has turned bad and the 36 - 48 hr forecast is for bad weather. The Hawker Siddley 748 may be able to fly out to Borneo late on Friday with a second flight on Saturday. Knut and his team are at Borneo, and have set up the huts they had out at the mooring camp. Were able to backhaul the recovered mooring on Sunday, 4 1/2 thousand pounds. Tim is just about finished with his installation. Sigrid is continuing to work on hers. Both Tim and Sigrid are within walking distance of Borneo. The Jamstec JCAD buoy could not be deployed today because of the bad weather. It may have to be installed near Borneo tomorrow (4/25).

April 25 - Telephone call from Andy Heiberg, 10:45 a.m. PDT, 4/25/02 - The wind is dying down. Weather is quite nice. The four extra drums of fuel over and above what is required to get home are being reserved. Cracks in the runway are being repaired and are expected to be complete by Friday evening. The Hawker Siddley 748 will land on Friday and take out 7 or 8 of our 12 people. A second Hawker flight on Saturday will take out the rest of the folks and remaining equipment. Sigrid may stay on until Saturday. Roger, Andy, Dean and Jamie will stay until Saturday. Jamie may stay on until Sunday and fly out with the Twin Otter stopping north of Alert to do a CTD station on the way. Everyone is helping with the Jamstec buoy today. If the Hawker brings another load of fuel out on Friday, one more Twin Otter run may take place on Saturday for hydro surveys. Tim Stanton has completed his work. The food is very good. A special dinner is being prepared for tonight.

April 26 — Telephone call from Andy Heiberg, 2:15 p.m. PDT, 4/26/02 - The Hawker just took off from Borneo to Resolute with Knut, Paul, Jim, Tim, Hirokatsu and Takashi, and all of their equipment minus a few odd items. The runway repair took 5 hours, and is now 1,100 m. 14 more drums of fuel were delivered. Jamie was able to do three more stations on the Lomonosov Ridge. Jamie will do one of the hydro surveys and deploy a buoy for the International Arctic Buoy Program on Saturday. The JCAD buoy was installed. Work began at 8 a.m. on 4/25 and was completed at 2 a.m., 4/26. Sigrid completed her work. The Hawker plans to return to Borneo on Sunday. Andy, Roger, Dean, Paul, and Sigrid will fly on the Hawker to Resolute on Sunday. Jamie will fly out on the twin otter via Alert to Resolute on Sunday. On Monday everyone (Andy, Roger, Dean, Paul, Sigrid and Jamie) will fly to Yellowknife on the Hawker, Andy, Roger, Sigrid and Jamie will fly to Seattle on Monday evening or on Tuesday. Paul and Dean will head for Seattle on Wednesday. Tentatively, of course.

Brief report on the mooring recovery from Eric Boget, Sr. Field Engineer and one of the divers, after his return to Seattle. Weather was spectacular, 5-10 knot breeze. The hole melting went well. The divers suited up and went in (Paul and Eric). 18 inches of snow on top of the approximately 2m thick ice meant it was quite dark in the water. The top float and the Upward Looking Sonar were about 10 ft from the hole, and the divers could see the line hanging down and could see the first instrument (3m below). The next floatation package was some way away under the ice (100 ft say), so on the whole it looked much like Jim's diagram. The divers attached a line to the top float, and brought that back to the hole, and exited. The mooring recovery went smoothly. It was a good, smooth piece of ice, so the capstan pulled each package back to the hole without the need for more diving. The line generally wasn't tangled, except 50 ft stretches near the floatation. The recovery operation started around 5 or 6pm, and completed by around 2am.

Observations from Jamie Morison back home warming up:
The helicopter CTD survey of the Lomonosov Ridge region was completed on April 26 in an efficient manner. To reach the farthest site we had to carry 40 gallons of fuel internally in small drums. Consequently we had to reduce the weight of the sampling gear to a bare minimum (SBE-19 CTD, electric winch, andone car battery, for an approx. 110lb) plus Jamie and and helo pilot Rob Carroll. In lieu of ice drilling equipment we carried a small ice chisel, and operated through very thin lead ice (the helo landing on adjacent thicker ice). We developed a sampling routine in which Jamie would cut a hole in the lead ice and Rob would bring the winch, battery and CTD to the hole, the cast was performed to 500m, and the equipment returned in reverse order. This was a 35-minute routine, and with 20 minutes flying between landings plus a few minutes of miscellaneous activity we performed one station per hour. Rob's organization of the load and his enthusiasm for the role of part-time hydro gofer were, in addition to his obvious skills as a pilot, instrumental to the success of the helo CTD survey. We ended up with 7 stations spaced about 16 NM apart across the ridge.

April 27 — Two hydro stations from the Twin otter were carried out this day. Compared to the helo-CTD, these stations were at a greater distance from Borneo (over 300 NM) and involved not only CTD but water sampling as well. Consequently the Twin Otter airplane was set up as aflying hydro platform. After landing a hole is drilled just outside the cargo door and a tent is attached to the side of the aircraft over the hole. A large aircraft heater is started to keep the interior warm and a winch inside the plane is used to lower special sample bottles and the CTD. Upon recovery, water samples are drawn in cozy conditions from small bottle rack inside the plane. With the tutelage of Kelly Falkner to go by, Roger drew samples for nutrients, salinity, barium, 18O, and dissolved oxygen (the trickiest). Stations were made at 85° 10.7' N, 165° 16.4'E and 86°37' N, 165°E. These are in a region that is remote and seldom sampled, but which displayed some of the largest changes in the 1990s, so it was good to get back there. The completion of these stations, similar stations last year, and indeed just about everything we do was critically dependent on the skill of our Twin Otter pilot, Paul Rask, and his copilot Doug Lesperance. We scientists say we want to go to position such and such. Converting this wish into a successful landing at that place is always a challenge, but especially so this year. In past years, Paul and our other skilled pilots from First Air have usually been able to find refrozen leads with smooth 1-2m ice. These make ideal skiways (and are relatively easy to drill for watersampling). This year it seemed as if all the first year ice had been broken upduring the winter. For virtually every remote landing, Paul had to search and search to find a relatively smooth strip on a multiyear floe. His ability to do this at the site of the mooring recovery was instrumental to its timely recovery.

April 28Back at Borneo, the final couple of days centered on completing the PMEL buoy installations. The JAMSTEC (Takashi Kikuchi and Hirokatsu Uno) and Naval Post Graduate School (Tim Stanton) installations were complex, but through Takashi's, Hiro's and Tim's diligent effort and technical magic, they were completed earlier in the week. Sigrid Salo with help primarily from Dean Stewart of the PSC logistics group, installed a met buoy, two CRREL ice buoys, two radiometer buoys and the now famous North Pole web cam. Thankfully we found a relatively thick (3m) multiyear floe for the installations. This puts the drifting station on much more secure ice than we found in 2000 and 2001. However, this site was 1 km from the Borneo camp, and without a snow machine, the buoy installers hauled almost all the buoy equipment and tools out to the site on foot. We joked that Sigrid and Dean were just like all the adventure tourists that come to Borneo to hike to the Pole, except they hiked 60 times over the same km of ice. After some very long hours, they finished and had everything up and running in time to depart on the Sunday, April 28 final Hawker Sidley flight.

Jamie flew from Borneo on the Twin Otter, with the plan of stopping at 85°N 70°W to repeat a CTD station from previous years. There we suffered a small but memorable mistake/setback. We had a particularly hardtime finding a place to land. The first year ice was very broken, but Paul finally found a smooth patch. To our surprise, the ice was so thick we didn't have enough drill string to get through. (Before the flight we'd considered this issue and concluded that anything over 3 m would be impossible to land on. Wrong!). We took off again to look for the next available smooth ice, but again to our surprise, we couldn't find a landing site within the time and fuel constraints of the flight. We will have to wait till next year to check on the 85° N site. Rest assured, we will bring an extra drill extension and start searching for skiways farther from the site. The rest of the flight was relatively uneventful. After a stop and rendezvous with the helo at Alert, wearrived at Resolute in poor weather about 15 minutes after the Hawker Sidley 748 carrying the rest of the North Pole team.