Astrobiologist Dale Andersen Status Report 26 November 2012, Lake Untersee, Antarctica


image With the small 25 cm diameter sampling hole opened in the south basin of Lake Untersee, Valery, Vladimir and Michael collected 30 liters of water that is now being filtered in the lab tent. Filtering is a fairly slow process but we have several nice vacuum pumps and manifolds so at least we will be efficient. Nevertheless, Valery and Vladimir will be filtering and preserving samples most of the day and evening.

I spent most of the day unpacking and working with the hole melter that we use for making the dive holes and the diving compressor to fill the tanks. The hole melter is now ready to get to work and tomorrow I will take it to the other side of the peninsula close to where we had our first dive hole in 2008. I want to move the hole a hundred meters or so from the old hole so we can see a bit more of the bottom in that area.

After I get the hole melter set up, I will turn my attention to getting the portable diving compressor up and running and filling our two dive tanks (120 cu. ft., 3000 psi) and assembling the Exo-26 full face masks [See photo above], testing communications and mounting the new dry gloves I have for my DUI dry suits. This year I will be testing out the KUBI dry gloves (thanks KUBI!!) which have very nice aluminum rings, and the Diving Concept dry glove system.

For cold-water divers (water temps ranging from -2° C to 0°C, or ~28°F to 32°F) protecting one's hands from the cold while still having a functional glove that is easily donned and doffed is still a bit of a problem but I hope these nice looking gloves will do the trick.

The weather continues to be extremely nice with little wind, mild temperatures and sunny skies except when we are in the shadow of the mountains that surround us. If we are lucky this weather pattern will last to at least the end of the week.

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