The Velvet Ice team made it back to McMurdo Saturday evening. After weather and plane availability prevented us from leaving WAIS for a week, the pilots with POLENET (the other science group at WAIS focused on collecting GPS and seismic data from the polar regions) offered to take us back themselves! We hustled to pack all our personal gear and load cargo while camp staff and POLENET pals helped dig out our tents. Within an hour we were ready to fly out with Troy and Tyler (pilots from Ken Borek Air) at the helm.
We flew in a Twin Otter plane, and for most of the flight, had unclouded views out the window. Stretches of crevasses came up sporadically, and as we approached McMurdo and the Ross Ice shelf, mountains came into sight. Just short of halfway, we made a pit stop at Siple Dome to refuel before continuing on to McMurdo.
Anny, Sridhar, Rachel and Emilie redeployed to Christchurch this morning. Erin and I will hang back in McMurdo until Thursday while we wait for the rest of our cargo to arrive from WAIS Divide. It was sad to say goodbye this morning. The six of us had a great time working together this season!
Not only were we lucky to have such a great team, but solid data collection as well! After a few days of trouble shooting to get Sridhar's tool up and running, we were able to do a successful logging run down the borehole. Meanwhile, Anny and Erin finished up the radar survey, hitting all of the sites they had hoped to. I'll follow up with some of our findings once we've all had a chance to look over the data!