Miller Sharpshooters

The Penguin Diaries -Part 2- The freeze is on - ready or not!

Sent: Tuesday, 22 March 2005 7:52 PM
To: Brett Smith; Heidi Tobin
Subject: The freeze is on - ready or not!

Dear Brett and Heidiwade_feb1

All system go here down south. After a rather nerve racking, delayed start we're away and filming. Phwew! Things were shaping up there towards what could have been the longest winter of my life - a literal winter of discontent! To cut a very long story short: even today's ordinarily minutely scheduled shooting routines, Antarctica still has plenty of major spanners ready to throw into the works. We've had an unseasonally heavy sea ice summer. This blocked shipping and Mawson station's annual resupply, including on board all our camera equipment! Yikes! However the last ship for the year broke through sea ice last week to resupply the station and unload precious cargo.wade_feb2

Just in the nick of time too. The autumn temperatures are now hanging steadily about -14 Celsius and we just had three days of clear, calm weather where the sea literally froze before our eyes! Incredible!

Recording this phenomena is a major component of our mission here, miss this one and next chance is in 12 months. So we've five different time lapse camera positions operating and up until 48 hours ago, when the sea set like a giant slushy, using a Pro Jib set up in a zodiac to shoot tracking shots of new ice formation.wade_feb3

Last night the weather closed in and at the moment the wind is blowing over 100 kmph and visibility is less than 2 meters. Needless to say, cameras are back in their cases for now, though I've left three Miller tripods in position, securely anchored with multiple ice screws designed for mountaineering. Those camera positions I'm confident will remain in place to the mm and be ready to resume time lapse shots when this blizzard blows through in the next days. Who knows what the landscape will look like then? Perhaps the new sea ice will have blown out, or the sea is now gone for the next 10 months!wadefeb4

I've attached a swag of pics from work over the past week.

Over and out for now......static.....static....hisssssss........


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