Milestones keep coming along in the project. The main one that happened this week is that we wrapped up our diving for the season and Rory has departed the ice.
Rory bringing samples back to the hole at the end of his last dive in the Antarctic for the foreseeable future. The ice continues to develop into more incredible shades of green and blue and the cracks become more developed by the day.
Here is another view of the ice surface with the ice algae in bloom. You can also see where there is snow on the surface from the dark patches. This must have interesting ramifications for the algae that need light to grow.
Rory left last Wednesday and since then I have been diving mostly with the diving safety officers here to wrap up the underwater science aspect of the project. This entailed a few more cores that constitute the last of our samples to track the natural variation in food web variation and trying to make it easy to find out site in the fall (austral fall – i.e. February). To do this we ran out caving line from an easy to track location (i.e. the giant rock jetty) to our site and marked the site with and old deep sea biologist marker. This high tech, and very useful, solution is better known as a bucket lid on a string.
Here is our bucket lid on a string. There is reflective tape tied periodically on the caving line to make it easier to find. Although there is still 300ft+ of visibility, when I come back in February that will drop to <10ft.[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_600" align="alignnone" width="800"] Here is Rory taking off his tank for the last time in the Antarctic as he ascends into the heated fish hut.