April 14: Leaving the ice camp, or up in the air again.

    Wind 6.9 mph

    Air Temperature -18.0 C -0.4 F Wind chill -13.7 F

    Latitude 73—11.603 N Longitude 146—41.920 W

    Cathy and I leave the ice camp today. I am all packed and placing the last photo emails from camp through my laptop computer and satellite phone link, before I put it away and take the antenna off the outside of the communications hut.

    Stephanie at the ice camp.

    This morning at breakfast I had a long talk with Stephanie about New England and home. The field camp has gone by quickly. I felt like I had just gotten into the rhythm of the camp when it was over. Stephanie and I were nostalgic. Neither one of us knows when, or if we will ever get the chance to revisit the arctic ice in this way. It is a really special place to be and work. The ice camp was a great place to be. There were lots of laughs and good conversations with people from around the world.

    Katharine Giles leaving.
    Katharine Giles leaving the ice camp.

    Adrian Turner leaves the ice camp.
    Adrian Turner leaves the ice camp.

    Cathy Geiger leaves the ice camp.
    Cathy Geiger leaves the ice camp.

    Robert Harris leaves the ice camp.
    4.14 Robert Harris leaves the ice camp.

    It is 9:00 a.m. and after loading our cargo and saying our goodbyes we climb into the airplane. In order to reach our seats up front we have to crawl over a snowmobile and other cargo. Katharine, Adrian, Cathy and I are on the plane. A couple of days ago we lost part of the runway when a lead opened up and the southern end moved to the west and was offset. As a result we are taking off on a shortened runway. Our pilots are experienced Alaskan bush pilots, and as we get to the end, we clear the ice ridge and then bank sharply to get a last view of the camp.

    ice camp.
    Ice camp.