ru26d (our deep glider outfitted with CTD, an oxygen sensor, and Fluorescence + Backcatter) was loitering outside the entrance to Marguerite Bay for almost 1.5 weeks. We were waiting for the ice to clear enough to fly the glider all the way to the British Antarctic Survey’s base, Rothera Research Station. For most of the deployment the bay had been iced in and only in the last couple weeks had there been openings, albeit them littered with ice.
Our deadline was hard set, 1/21/2012, the date the RV Gould would arrive to Rothera to say meet with their British counterparts. We predicted just under a week for the entire transect into the base. With the current date being 1/13, it was time to go for it.
Luckily the wind and seas gave us the right conditions to try our entrance. North winds kept the ice south and enough summer melting and storms had passed to clear out much of the ice.
The glider was throttled back up to full speed and given waypoints through the entrance to the bay. We alerted the British as to our plans and asked them for assistance in planning and recovery. They obliged.