29 Nov 2012 11:15 am EST (4:15 pm UTC at Lake Untersee)
Keith Cowing: I just got two, rather clear 4.5 minute Iridium satphone calls from Dale Andersen at Lake Untersee, Antarctica.
Dale reports that after several weeks of weather-related delays, his team is in place at Lake Untersee. The dive hole has been drilled and the tanks are all pumped up. He said that they expect to be ready to dive under the ice within the next several days or so. The weather is exceptionally nice by comparison to when they first arrived. Winds range from 0 to 40 knots and the skies are blue. Of course, as is always the case in polar regions you pay for every day of really nice weather with an d equal (or greater amount of bad weather.
The big news with regard to Dale's plans is that his Iridium AxcessPoint WiFi hotspot router has died. That means that there will be no more Internet access for him until/unless the device starts to work again. The prospects of that happening seem to be rather slim.
Having Internet communication is not necessary for their research, so that will not be affected. Dale will be calling me on a semi-daily basis with updates.