Beakers are scheduled to arrive today. Word from town is that they are getting restless. They were supposed to be at drill camp three weeks ago, but are now far behind schedule. Worse still is that NSF had an original deadline of DEC31 for getting the helicopters assembled here at camp, otherwise the science component of camp was to be scrapped for the season; now the deadline has been extended until JAN7.
When the project to drill on the ice sheet when being investigated several years ago, the principles were unsure how to get the team out to the undulating, crevassed piece of ice floating over Pine Island Bay. There was a single experimental landing with a twin otter at the area of interest, but due to the ‘very hard landing’ the fixed wing contractor [Kenn Borak] said there would be no further landings at that site.
So instead it was conceived to setup a ‘main camp’ here on the solid glacier, some 50 miles from the project drill site. The 6 mile runway was groomed for LC-130s to shuttle in gear, people, fuel and disassembled A-star helicopters. A gantry has been setup in anticipation of hoisting the helos into the air and sliding their skids back underneath them.
If the beakers arrive, we expect chaos to ensue. They will likely try to tear apart the cargo lines in an effort to find their equipment and will probably try to commandeer some of the heated rac-tents for their use.