Layer 2: thick silk thermal shirt
Layer 3: cashmere sweater
Layer 4: thick turtleneck wool sweater
Layer 5: hooded fleece jacket
Layer 6: 700 fill down jacket
Layer 7: windproof gortex shell
That is what I wore on my top half today. It was cold!!! And after yesterday, I did not want to be cold! Seven layers!!! Holy moley. I needed an assistant to zip up my shell because I was so puffy! But, I was toasty warm today. Check out the weather post. This is the first thing we look at before we go out every day. The key number is the Wind Chill!!!
It was another long day in the field. This morning we headed out to dig some more snow pits at two different sites. We dug two pits at each site and collected 44 snow cores. Phew. I
t was a 45 minute qamatuk ride each direction... I was really thankful for my seven layers! Check out the photo of the qamatuk. We sit on cushions in the box towed behind the snow mobile. The one in this picture has our gear tobagan in the back.
We headed back for a warm lunch, something I missed terribly yesterday, and then headed out again. This time we split the team up. A few people headed out with Dr. Pete to collect more core samples (the bigger the sample size, the better the results!) and the rest of us went out with a grad student studying tree needle dessication in varying ecosystems. He is comparing trees in the tundra, forest tundra (which has just a few trees) and forest. For each tree we needed to collect 9 samples. He is looking at needles on different sides of the trees: the NorthWest, which is where the majority of the wind comes from (and there is a lot of wind!), the South, which is the side of the tree that gets the most sunlight, and the East, though I can't remember why. On each of those sides of the tree, we took a sample from the canopy, which is the section above the wind damage, the middle where the tree is sandblasted with blowing snow, and one from below the snow level. There are no canopies on the "trees" in the tundra...if you can even find a tree. The people sampling there had to dig alot and were blasted by the wind. In the forest, the trees blocked the wind alot, but we sank into the huge snow drifts. Walking was a challenge, but I did get to try stomping around in snow shoes, which was fun. And the walking is so difficult it warms you up, which is a bonus! We made it back to the center just in time for dinner. I was so tired upon our arrival that I just laid down on the floor...but my hungry stomach did not allow me to stay long. :)
Three more people slept in the igloo last night and they all took my hot water bottle recommendation. Something to keep in mind if you ever need to sleep out in the cold...
One of the girls on my team has experienced one of my Arctic fears...she got frostbite on her nose! She got a black spot on the side of her nose and then the skin peeled off!!! Luckily she looks pretty normal today...no bits fell off! But today the tip turned dark and we are waiting for the peeling phase...
I wish that I could take a picture that would capture the perspective that I have through my goggles. No matter what I do, on long qamatuk rides my goggles frost up, usually from the top down. So my vision is blurred by ice crystals as I look out onto a world where the snow is blowing all around due to the wind, catching sunlight as it flies above the white sparkly landscape. It is quite surreal and magical in a cold way.
Here is the narwhal tusk from the Eskimo Museum. I was really surprised at how big it was! Blog Challenge for today is to do a little research on narwhals. Habitat? Size? Food source and predators? Uses for humans? Tusks - who has them, how big are they, and function. And three fun facts... :)
I have to go check for more northern lights... Ciao for now!