You would have thought a rock star had arrived at McMurdo last night with all the excitement of people racing to take pictures as the helicopter landed. In reality it truly was a rock “star”—ANDRILL’s first core had arrived from the drill site!
The air was extremely cold—so cold that my fleece mittens were not enough to keep my fingers warm, and quickly they became painful. I worked to warm them as I tried to snap pictures of the helo passing in front of a beautiful sunset as it dropped out of the sky for the landing pad.
The cold took a toll on my camera too. The battery meter dropped quickly and began flashing a red warning. In between pictures I stowed the camera in my inner pocket and hoped it would last long enough to record the “breaking news” of the core’s grand entrance toward the Milvan where it would be split and logged.
Simon Nielsen, head curator, drove the van from the helo pad to the Milvan where the core will be split and the logging process begun. His grin shows the thrill we all felt to finally be able to glimpse what we all are in Antarctica to see!The core is packed as carefully as the most valuable of cargo. The handlers plan their route to avoid slippery patches—falling and dropping the case could be disastrous! We were honored to be allowed into the Milvan to record with photos the brand new core. Davide Persico, held up a bag of rocks that came out of the drill, but didn't hold together for a core. They, too, will be studied.
The logger and curators worked all night to take images of the core and to make the first observations which were shared at our team meeting this morning. Our first “core tour” will be tomorrow, so with these pictures, you are catching a glimpse very early in the process.
Come back for more stories about the life of the “rock star!”