|The waterfall near camp in full flow. Doing the Polar Bear Challenge now would be inadvisable.|
Monday, July 18, 2011
The Arctic is a terrible place for equipment. Sand and cold destroy seem to destroy everything from zippers to computers. Two of the three Kindles in camp have been destroyed (NB: as of June 12, all three Kindles are now dead but one of the new arrivals to camp has bravely brought his out despite warnings). Electronics seem to have a short half-life. Inverters, converters, battery chargers, cameras and computers have all either needed fixing or have been destroyed.
Filtering water from our sediment-laden river takes up the better part of the day for Catie and Louise’s work. Because getting replacements is impossible, we attempt to fix everything that breaks. We use the term “Frankenstiened” to describe building new versions of broken equipment using parts of other equipment. The Frankenstining I’m most proud of was building a new flurometer (an instrument that measures light absorption in water) using a boat battery, an inverter, a cell phone charger, and a voltmeter. And yes, it worked!