Keith's note: Dale Andersen just phone in his latest status report from his base camp at Lake Untersee, Antarctica. Dale was able to make his first dive under the ice today. It was a short dive that lasted 10 minutes or so and was cut a little short by a minor gear issue. During the dive Dale out a gas sampling device into place. The next dive will be tomorrow (Sunday). Typically a dive under the ice can last anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour -depending on the task(s) at hand and the location(s) to be visited.
This year's field season has been somewhat compressed. Bad weather at the opening of the season kept Dale and his team form deploying. Now, the weather is "spectacular" according to Dale. But any of you who've worked at a polar research base know, every day of nice weather exerts a karmic payback later with and equal or greater amount of bad weather. An example of bad weather can be seen in this video from last year.
As plans currently stand, Dale and his team are scheduled to be pulled out of Antarctica between 16 and 17 December - weather depending.
In addition to today's dive, Dale also downloaded data from their Meteorological station. Michael, Valeri, and Vladimir continued to work on their water samples.