The deity of success is a woman, and she insists on being won, not courted. You’ve got to seize her and bear her off, instead of standing under her window with a mandolin.”
– Rex Beach
‘Tis my honor to bring you good news from the top of Greenland’s ice sheet. Despite the hardships that had hitherto plagued our expedition, we have successfully completed all of our initial scientific objectives and plus some more. Let us briefly sum up the work accomplished between May 16th to June 25th: (1) a successful testing of the Blue Ice Drill Deep mode up to 187m deep – from this test we managed to obtain four boxes worth of ice specimen for carbon monoxide isotope and position dependent nitrous oxide isotope measurements, (2) a successful collection of four air extractions from firn ice with the big ice melter, (3) successful collection of four procedural blanks from the big ice melter – two wet water blanks, one dry inject – recirculate blank and one hot dry blank. During this period we drilled a total of 687.77 fathoms (1 meter = 0.547 fathom) worth of ice cores from 58 holes.
We managed to achieve all this despite losing half of our team members during the first half of the expedition, three abandoned sample/blank extractions, a couple of abandoned boreholes due to dropping several items (gloves, allen wrenches, etc) into them, and multitudes of problems with the Blue Ice Drill; for example by the end of the season, the Blue Ice Drill has gone through almost all of its spare parts – drill barrels, anti-torques, electrical connections, etc. Through the difficulties, each men and women in our expedition worked gallantly without any complain. Deservedly, most of us took it easy in the last couple of days during camp packup. In our spare time, some of us made a very artistic sculpture out of ice cores and a couple days ago we even had a very gay (in ye Olde English kind of way, obviously) evening playing a game of soccer football in the snow.
Overall, I would say that the expedition went splendidly. For a closing note of this post I have a quote from Sir Ernest Shackleton – a man of indomitable will and boundless courage lest any future polar fieldwork encountered similar hardship to us: “Difficulties are just things to overcome, after all.”
Michael N. Dyonisius