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.
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.
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.