Last rays of sunshine


18 October 2006

With the approaching polar night we took advantage of the last rays of sunshine yesterday to have a small picnic and bid farewell to the sun.

Rugby, petanque and vodka (representing the three nationalities
on board) provided ample activity to keep us warm in the ever decreasing temperatures. Although the sun no longer rises above the horizon we still have a few weeks of diminishing twilight until the light completely disappears near the end of November. We will then experience two months of total night before the return of twilight hours late January and the welcome first direct rays early March.

After much effort drilling a hole through 3m of ice we also undertook our first CTD sounding this week, to a depth of 1500m. Measuring conductivity, temperature and depth, this oceanographic sounding exercise is of prime importance to characterizing the seasonal and spatial dynamics in the formation of the Arctic ice.