The rise in air pressure from 962 to 1005 hPa was indeed the boost everybody needed and craved for. While our Bulgarian hosts started working hard on restoring the water supply, we decided to proceed with a big push in our science. Ana and Alice had to install a DGPS reference unit on a rock glacier in the False Bay, so Andy and I took the opportunity and tag along with them. The goal was to explore new areas of Livingston Island in a search of subglacial and groundwater discharge. The task seemed to be simple enough, however, the melt season this year is heading fast towards the end: temperatures are dropping and the sun is becoming less welcoming, therefore finding healthy discharge anywhere is a real challenge. Nevertheless, long hours of exploration give us the opportunity to enjoy the Nature on the island, which seems to spoil us incredibly. Humpback whales feeding just few meters away, Leopard seals leisurely resting on ice floes, fur and crabeater seals sleeping on rocky shores, are only a prelude to what the Island has to offer. Gentoo and Chin strap penguin colonies are also a wonderful distraction from the harshness of the environment and the work that needs to be done. Finally, after hours of searching and taking hundreds of photographs we have found what we were looking for! A big sample of subglacial discharge was packed in our rucksacks along with the measurements of conductivity, oxygen saturation and water temperature. A day can come to an end.
Aga Nowak, University of Sheffield