Arctic Antarctica

Expedition: MAGIC-DML 2016/17

18 December 2016 - 27 February 2017 Dronning Maud Land

Closing Wasa and going home

28 February 2017 | Karin Winarve

The stubborn storm and our involuntary extended stay at Wasa, meant that we had time for a proper closing of the station. The closing procedure is basically the reverse of the start-up procedure – there is a checklist to follow and we just do it the other way around. The challenge is to make room for everything and at the same time make it logical for those who will open the station next time.

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Last days

27 February 2017 | Karin Winarve

The last few days have passed slowly, we switched to low-power mode and just waited out the storm. When the winds were at their strongest, the anemometer almost broke down and we had to take it inside. Then it sounded as if the storm got even stronger, but we don't really know the exact wind speed.

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43,2 knots of wind

21 February 2017 | Carl Lundberg

Now we are scheduled to get picked up on Thursday at 12:15 but the forecast does not look that good. At this moment we have 43,2 knots of wind and visibility less than 1000 meters. But spirits are high, we are warm and we got food.

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The weather dictates all… And it’s rather unpredictable

20 February 2017 | Jennifer Newall

Efter en extremt hektisk eftermiddag och sen kväll igår fick vi en tidig start i morse. Vårt flyg till Troll var ursprungligen planerat till onsdag 22 februari, men igår fick vi ett mail med en uppdatering av tidtabellen. Enligt väderprognosen så ska det bli storm tisdag-torsdag och eventuellt fredag. I det nya uppdaterade schemat hade vårt flyg flyttats till idag (måndag 20 februari).

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Polar explorers achievements

16 February 2017 | Carl Lundberg

Last night at dinner we asked our self what technological advances that makes it possible for us to travel to Earth's most inhospitable and isolated continent? Sure, there have been polar expeditions for over a hundred years now, but you do not need to go too far back in the literature to realise that it was made under completely different risks and sacrifices. Its somewhere around where the images changes from color to black and white so see how the conditions and the changes but must have felt both fear and anxiety. There is more than one story about the expedition That Were left on the ice, not just one, but two long winters more than planned.

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Sampling at the edge of the Antarctic Plateau

16 February 2017 | Jennifer Newall

Learning from our success using both the cars and snowmobiles to access sites during the fieldwork in Tottanfjella, it was decided to make a speedy return journey to Milorgfjella with the snowmobiles. This would hopefully allow us to visit the high elevation, summit sites we were unable to access during the first visit

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Meet our expedition leader - Henrik Törnberg

15 February 2017 | Neil Glasser, Ola Fredin

Every expedition needs a great leader and we are lucky that we have Henrik Törnberg in that role. Henrik was involved right from the start in helping us with the overall planning and organisation of the MAGIC-DML fieldwork, running up to our current deployment in January-February 2017. He also has day-to-day responsibility for the planning and safety of the expedition while we are here in the field in Antarctica.

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What is it like to do fieldwork in Antarctica?

10 February 2017 | Neil Glasser

On the latest trip out we were camped on the ice sheet at about 1500 metres above sea level and we had night-time temperatures well below -20 C so some of us have taken to using two sleeping bags, one inside the other, to keep warm. We also have a small toilet tent, pitched at a discreet distance from the other tents…

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Working as a technician in Antarctica

9 February 2017 | Henrik Törnberg

Det finns mycket teknisk utrustning på en polarforskningsstation. På Wasa finns sju snöskotrar, fyra bandvagnar, två terrängbilar, två dieselgeneratorer, vattensystem med snösmältare, gasolsystem, elsystem med solpaneler samt en mängd annan teknisk utrustning och byggnader som måste hållas i funktionsdugligt skick.

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Field expedition nr. 2

30 January 2017 | Karin Winarve

The field team once sent us a message along the way to their new camp site. The way to Heimefrontfjella and the depot at Steinnabben went really fast thanks to the good weather. They refueled there, hooked on the trailer and started the snowmobiles...

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Milorgfjella, mapping and sampling

30 January 2017 | Ola Fredin

On January 21st we headed out for our first major fieldwork in Milorgfjella (pronounced "Mee-lorg-feeyella") about 240 km South-southeast, of the research station Wasa. We set out early in the morning with our two trusty cars packed to the gills with fieldwork equipment, food, camping gear, and the many bits and pieces that are needed for remote fieldwork in Antarctica.

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Svea return

28 January 2017 | Karin Winarve

Before the others had time to wake up all rolled all of the house elf (Pär, Stefan and Karin) down the hill in the blue cars and we set out on this trip to Svea. This was the most practical solution, this way the field team have the time to focus on planning for the next trip and take the opportunity to rest a little.

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From gas huts to damaged tracked vehicles

26 January 2017 | Karin Winarve

The days have continued in the same spirit at the station. In the kitchen we have produced lunchboxes for future expeditions. In the yard we have parked the MARA-hut on its new location behind the generator container and secured it with wires. The sun is warm during the days and it makes the gas work quite well, therefore we will postpone the gas installation in the hut until it gets colder.

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If a fault occurs, repair it

25 January 2017 | Karin Winarve

Lights in the dashboard of the tracked vehicle 15 are on. They indicate That it hasent been to the workshop for a while. The handbook says "if a fault occurs, repair it". We literally follow that advice. Errors occur and we fix. Continuously.

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Flag fishing and myth of the mummified crabeater seal

24 January 2017 | Karin Winarve

I dag började arbetsdagen med att byta flaggstångslinor. De fyra flaggstängerna har blivit gamla blivit slitna av väder och vind. Även linorna har blivit utmattade och börjat slacka, och därmed även börjat smattra mer och mer. Något man visst bara lägger märke till när man krupit ner under täcket och det är tyst i huset. Men att då tassa ut i pyjamasen för att spänna upp linorna igen är inte något som frestat, istället har man satt i öronproppar och lagt kudden över huvudet. Men så igår kväll blev de ihågkomna när vi ännu ytterkläderna var på.

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Off to Milorgfjella and lots of work at Wasa

22 January 2017 | Karin Winarve

And now we are only three person left. Again. We have just sent off the team with all researchers and and four of our logicians. The alarm clock rang at four forty and at six we had freshly baked bread for them to bring as lunch packages. The last tour was mainly a test to get the chance to get to know the cars, camping gear, research equipment and communication equipment. But this field expedition will be a bigger one.

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Chef in Antarctica

17 January 2017 | Henrik Törnberg

Karin really plays a key role in the expedition – she makes sure we eat great food three times a day. It requires a lot of knowledge and planning to create a functional food plan for an Antarctic expedition. We are eleven persons who eat three times a day for two months. Overall, we are spending around 300 person-days at Wasa plus around 250 person-days in our field camp. This means 1,650 meals to be planned, prepared and cooked.

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The expedition team is complete!

13 January 2017 | Henrik Törnberg

We have lots of preparations to make before we go out on our first field mission. Everything takes longer time when the weather is bad and the risk of injuries and damages on equipment increases. We immediately take some security measures when working outdoors.

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With a 75-year-old to Wasa

12 January 2017 | Henrik Törnberg

10:30 - we are in the air and the flight to Wasa takes two hours. Lidia is a alert but noisy 75-year-old and are missing pressure cabin. The landing at the Wasa turns out to be a bumpy one, the rear wheel is missing a landing skis and digs deep into the loose snow.

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A day of waiting

11 January 2017 | Henrik Törnberg

Troll gives us a perfect start with great weather - sunshine, good visibility, no wind and the thermometer shows -7 degrees Celsius. We pack up our things and set off with a tracked vehicle seven kilometers out to the airstrip.

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Latest news from Wasa catering, cargo and real estate Inc.

9 January 2017 | Carl Lundberg

After another period without a clue of the date it was, we have figured out That it is January 9 today. And it is good to know Because tomorrow will our colleagues be travelling from Cape Town. Just like we did, they first fly to Troll. Currently it is not known if they will stay for a night or fly out straight away. There has been some confusion with flights between Cape Town and Troll. The warm weather has made the airstrip warm, and since it's made of ice it needs go get a little bit harder so that the air planes are able to land. So they have talked about moving to flights till nighttime.

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Finally at Wasa after marathon-long road trips, car jamming and snow shovelling

5 January 2017 | Stefan Gunnarsson

We have finally arrived at Wasa after a busy week with marathon-long road trips, car jamming and snow shovelling. I have tried to send a message through our SHOUT, that is a small beacon that combines GPS and satellite-borne e-mail. We had agreed with the office at home that we would send messages, but unfortunately it is not very user friendly and it sometimes deletes the hole message instead of transmitting it.

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New Years Eve in Antarctica

31 December 2016 | Carl Lundberg

At Neumayer we've got ourself out of bed at 7 for breakfast and then we've got help from two machine operators. Unfortunately I do not know the name of the first operator, but anyhow he is almost excessively tanned. And the second operator was Klaus from Bavaria. He was the one in Lederhosen on Christmas Eve and also the one who opened the beer bottles with a chainsaw on New Year's Eve.

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Happy New Year!

31 December 2016 | Carl Lundberg

Happy New Year! Ola, Stefan and Calle drove to Neumayer yesterday to get the second batch of cargo. We packed and celebrated New Years Eve today and tomorrow we drive back to Wasa.

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