Yesterday was awesome. It was time to get Sunfish in the water for a shakedown of operations and navigation systems, so we loaded up into two PistenBullys and headed out onto the sea ice. One of the other science teams currently on station was kind enough to lend us their fish hut for the day which provided a pre-drilled hole and a great spot to practice out of the wind and -50 F temperatures. However, there was a third party making use of the hole, Weddell Seals!
Once we signed a treaty and agreed to share, we got Sunfish in the water and swimming as Peter familiarized himself with the controls on the xbox controller. It proved to be a great day for the team to get familiar with transporting the vehicle, getting it in and out of the water, and navigating beneath the ice. After a few modifications today and tomorrow we’ll be ready to head out to our planned field camp site and take a look under the ice shelf over the coming week. If all looks good and the underside of the ice is clear of major obstacles, we’ll keep moving forward on building out that camp and it’ll be a green light for Artemis trials in October.
Check out Peter’s Blog for more excellent photos and examples of what that live feed looks like (and a super cool jelly fish we swam past).