Field Notes: The Polar Field Services Newsletter

GrIT Details: SCAT Field Work, Life

The tiny black dots at four o'clock on the image are the SCAT's camp, to which they will return at day's end. All photos: Robin Davies

From:  Kip Rithner
To: “Robin Davies”
Date: Tuesday, April 6, 2010, 2:33 PM 

How’s it going out there in the wild? 

What’s it like in that Tucker cab hour after hour? Do you listen to music or books on tape, talk about past and future exploits? 

From: Robin Davies
To: “Kip Rithner”
Date:  Wednesday, April 7, 2010, 4:55 AM 

When we are covering new ground that we expect to have crevasses, quite a lot of the time, it’s a bit intense in the cab. Allan has to continually watch the GPR screen and can’t afford to be distracted, Jen is watching our progress overlaid on the satellite imagery and looking at surrounding features to tie them into what she sees on her laptop screen, and I’m concentrating on trying to drive as straight a course as possible with the GPS. At other times on easier ground or ground we have covered before, we talk, tell stories and laugh a lot. But no book reading and definitely no singing! 

Yesterday we found our way through what we thought might have been an impenetrable barrier of crevasses and reached a point that’s on the old route that will become the new way point B9F. From there it’s a clear run to B10 and then a few minor crevasses to check out before we reach our goal of B11. Hopefully we’ll do that today. 

On the way back to camp we widened that day’s section of the route and double-checked a few features Allan had seen on the GPR until he was happy and gave the route his approval. From there Kevin parked up his skidoo and joined us in the Tucker to boogie on back to camp at an exhilarating 10mph!

This is what the SCAT camp looks like. Each person has a tent like the one shown at left. Behind the orange tucker, the brown wannigan, various cargo items and the black outhouse.

After a long day, Jen Mercer helps Kevin Emery wash his hair while Allan Delaney looks on from inside the wannigan.

Robin explains, "Enjoying a meal cooked by Allan, Asian shrimp soup, after a successful day." This shot is taken inside the brown wannigan, but the SCAT sleeps outside in the tents.