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NASA AMASE 2008: Day 1: Arrived Bockfjorden - first field day

Status Report From: AMASE 2008
Posted: Monday, August 11, 2008

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August 4, 2008 / Written by: Jason Feldman - We arrived Bockfjorden just before dinner. The passage from Longyearbyen was stunning..everyone on deck snapping photos. Kjell Ove and I climbed to the crows nest for a good vantage. A few icebergs, whales in the distance a shoreline of mountains and hills topped with snow, glaciers flowing down to the cold sea. We had dinner, packed up sandwiches for 'lunch' and donned our safety suits for the trip to shore in the small boats. The weather was just starting to pick up with a bit of chop - bit ashore it was beautiful, fairly warm and clear.

One team headed up to the glacier to take ice cores, a second team headed to the volcano to scout out a route for a geology expedition with CheMin, a third team headed to Troll to take and cache for helicopter return water samples to study viruses/organism interactions, and the rest of us - many of whom were new to AMASE (Antonio, Jason, Mats, Andrea, Ashley, Nicole, Linda, Mike, Svein-Erik, Paulo) went with Hans ashore to get our Arctic bearings and reconnoiter. When those of us on the reconnaissance party got to shore the boat grounded a few meters from the beach, so Morten carried us each in turn piggyback to the shore to keep us from getting soaked before hiking in the cold. Leaving the safety suits on the beach we set off toward the base of Sverrfjellet volcano - following Hans and learning from him about the geology that made everything we were seeing.

On the return Bjarne loaded us all into the boat via a makeshift 'pier' of driftwood logs - then the boat was stuck fast with all of us and some coming over the stern from the waves. There was a comical episode where Svein-Erik and I did our utmost to shove off without getting wet, standing on a log..finally we gave up and Hans waded in and we all pushed off and returned to the boat. Was a great first day ashore.

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