May 26

Traveling to the North Pole, Part 11: Leaving Alert

Category: Arctic,JHUAPL,Travel,Work

Well the time has come: we had a good run at Alert, collecting water and ice from 12 sites and meeting our objectives.  Now it’s time to pack up those samples in coolers and pack it along with literally tons of our equipment.  Everything is carefully packed away in cushioned plastic cases, wooden crates, cylinders, jugs, jars, pipes, and every conceivable shape and type of container.  It is then all stacked on special pallets and netted down.  This is hard work, and as the piles get larger, we have to lift the heavy cases to the top.

Soon, the C-130 roars in from the snow clouds which almost cancelled the flight.

Shortly thereafter, the giant fork lift loads the plane up and we take off for Greenland.

I thought this sign on one of the rear doors was amusing.  This pretty much covers all situations, doesn’t it?  The C-130 doesn’t land on water.

In a few hours, we see the broken-up ice that lies farther south.

Then, the rugged coast of Greenland comes into view.

The water is spectacularly blue because of all the suspended sediment coming off of Greenland. Giant bergs float about the shattered and scarred rock, which has been scoured clean by Greenland’s glaciers and ice sheet. Many bergs are frozen into this ice shelf:

Sediment layers and erosion gulleys provide great texture to the glacier-carved side of this islet:

Soon we reach Thule air force base, refuel, and take off again for Kangerlussuaq.  The scenic show continues:



4 Comments so far

  1. Janice May 26th, 2012 3:35 PM

    Amazing, thank you!

  2. Gaelyn May 26th, 2012 10:25 PM

    I’ll bet there are mixed feelings about leaving Alert.

  3. DiAnne May 26th, 2012 10:57 PM

    simply beatiful!!!

  4. DiAnne May 26th, 2012 10:57 PM

    beautiful… you knew what I meant!!!

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