Photo shows the MT's preparing the video system for deployment. At the time the outside temperature was -7 F with 35 knot winds. Heavy flotation clothing, insulated boots, insulated hard hat liners, mittens and face coverings help to protect those on deck from the brutal conditions.
We are leaving the Larsen A basin area and moving north. Current position 64 39 south 58 55 west. We have been feeling the effects of cold weather for the past three days now. Current temperature is -4 F with a 40 mph wind. This puts us in the -54 wind chill range. All windows of the ship are frosted over and areas around all exterior doors to the back deck are heavily frosted as well. Work outside is brutal and only done for short periods of time before coming in to warm up. Anything that comes out of the water is coated with ice almost immediately, so getting bolts and screws undone is a difficult task to say the least. Some of the equipment we can disassemble and bring indoors to remove the samples but some is too heavy to move and the sampling tubes must be removed on deck.
Yesterday afternoon a deep submergence videos system was sent down to image the bottom. This is not one of the current hi-tech robotic units but it is a high strength casing with a Hi8 video camera and lights that point toward the sea floor. The unit is weighted and lowered to the sea floor where it is basically dragged along behind a weight that is attached to the ship winch cable. Floats keep the unit just above the bottom. No remote on/off switch and no way to view what it is seeing. After two hours the unit is brought back on board, tape removed from the recorder and viewed on a TV monitor. Unit came back on board after I went to bed last night so I have not seen the tape, but I will at the second screening today at 1 pm. I understand it came out great and shows abundant life on the sea floor. Additional information is in afternoon posting.
No sun for the past 4 days, cold with occasional snow squalls and thick ice for as far as we can see. A constant comment by everyone is how did Shackleton and his men managed their remarkable journey with these conditions and the clothing of the time.
Looks like this posting and afternoon one will both go in afternoon mail.