Tris and Tom sign out of fieldwork on Tuesday, and Liane, Steffi and Jenine fly in. Marian will take up residence in KISS (Kangerlussuaq International Science Support) for two weeks on Monday. The incoming helicopter’s main science mission is fly to the snow line, and sample across the gradient from snow through slush to ice – a classic geography space for time substitution exercise. We can learn about the biological, chemical and physical transitions that happen when the snow melts away to the ice beneath not only by staying at one place and waiting for this to happen, but also by sampling across a range of otherwise similar environments that are topped by unmelted snow through wet snow and slush to mainly fresh ice surface.
The team know this, but are most concerned about opportunities for the top up of some of life’s luxuries. These are, for a field worker, fresh fruit and veg, fresh meat for the carnivores, and beer. Someone not named left the bulk of the first two week’s field beer ration in Kangerlussuaq – it will have mysteriously disappeared by now – and there is a certain desperation for a small bottle of beer.
There is also the chance to top up on field sampling equipment and sample containers, but my favourite request has got to be for dry hair shampoo, the sort you get in cans apparently. Chris is worried about his hair. Marian is tasked to purchase it, and Liane to hand deliver it. I’m not sure how PC it is to say that I find this ironic, so I won’t. The main thing is that all is going very well and the team are in great spirit.