Day 5 began as usual however this time instead of sampling a few ponds to high resolution, we were wanting to sample many ponds with only one sample per pond. There are about 48 mapped ponds around the Bratina study site, about 20 are relatively well studied, another 8 are huge or frozen almost all year and the remaining are only visited from time to time. Our goal was to take the remaining 32 filters I had and sample as many ponds as possible, taking a conductivity, temperature and pH reading from each pond as well as drawing its approximate shape and size and logging its gps coordinates.
Over day 5 we were able to visit every mapped pond and collect our required samples from 32 of them (including naming 3 ponds which we thought looked intresting and were unnamed). This was excellent as we got to see basically the entire study site and from these results will be able to catergorize all the ponds in the area into broad groups so we can select one from each group to gain a representative view of all ponds in the area, exciting stuff....well for me it is!
Day 6 involved sampling my last 7 ponds roughly and to collect some samples for NIWA and a student at the University of Cantebury, the weather was slightly worst this day but we did everything we set out to do, packed up all of our stuff, processed our samples, logged the raw data into my computer and began packing up camp. That evening we were told that we would be picked up at 8.40am by an American helicopter.
day 7, pick up day was a bit longer than expected, we got up at 6 to make sure we could get all of our stuff ready to find that the weather had turned in and it was snowing ourside, the snow not being a problem but the lack of visibility meant that the piolet would not fly in that weather. We were put on hold all day (thankfully we had the huts, with a heater in it to stay and watch movies in all day) at around 4pm we got word that we would be picked up at about 5.30pm so we got the rest of our stuff together and got ready to fly.
That brings me to the end of my field expedition, all in all it went better than we could of hoped and now I have about 10 months to process the samples before all of my efforts need to be put back into prep for next year. I hope you have enjoyed reading about the trip so far, once I get back to broadband I will but up the videos and other media onto our websites including Holly Goddards Antarctic experience. Until next time,