21 May 2007
Sam’s log book
Three o’clock in the morning. I have just woken up to be on watch. As usual in this season, daylight is there, but everyone is asleep since our watches have decided on it. Even the dogs!
East wind : 16 knots. We are drifting at 0.2 knots 275 ƒ. The pack ice seems stable.
I arrived on board two weeks ago, happy to see part of the crew again that I had left eight months ago on the Siberian coast right before the boat was caught in the ice.
This first vision of Tara that seems to be engulfed by the ice is impressive. The sturdiness of the ship seems to have proven itself even if traces of the harsh winter spent in these high latitudes have left their imprint.
Intensive shovelling has enabled us to find the boats lines that shelter us. Life on board has organised itself for the summer season.
I am now in charge of the Damoclès programme EM 31 manipulations that enable ice thickness measurements on pack ice portions. I have barely arrived but I sense that time will pass quickly. Between periods on watch, the daily tasks on board, the up keeping of the base and the ship as well as the scientific manipulations, our days are well filled and there remains but little leasure time to play accordion, write a little or read.
The base is taking advantage of the experience of the first winter crew in its actual organisation and work pace. We remain vigilant because the quasi daily appearance of fractures due to the pack ice movements predicts the arrival of a turbulent season.