New volunteers!

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On Monday the last of our Mainbody team arrived, and we were ready to hit the ground running! The weather has been cooperating with us and we have been enjoying warm temperatures and low wind. When we headed out for our first capture on Tuesday we were pleasantly surprised to see the road flags hanging down in the still weather.

We didn’t have to go far to find our first seal. He had hauled out near Turtle Rock and was enjoying the nice weather as much as we were. He was so calm it was almost as though he were frozen, quickly earning him the name Han Seal-o.  After instrumenting him, he joined our study by diving into hole #2. Phase 2 was underway!

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Aerial view of hole #3

Now that Han Seal-o was busy collecting data for us it was time to look for a second volunteer. Unfortunately the weather decided to stop cooperating again. Cloudy skies and high wind kept the seals in the water and our team in town.

 

It wasn’t until Thursday that we were finally able to get back out to camp. The first stop was to open the outside hole at camp#2 so Han Seal-o could haul out when he was ready. Everything had been covered in snow drifts but we got to work digging, and as we were out there we received more good news. Seal-3PO had hauled out at camp #3! It had taken 2 weeks more than we expected, but we had all of the seals finished and the instruments from Phase 1 back in hand.

 

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Now that hole #3 was clear we could start looking for another volunteer. Fortunately the weather stayed nice and seals began hauling out right outside of town. It didn’t take long for us to be back in camp and ready to release seal #6. At over 100kg smaller than Han Seal-o, we decided Luke Sealwalker would be the perfect name for him. Soon he was in hole #3 and we were back to waiting. On Sunday we will open the outside hole at camp #3, but until then we will be keeping an eye out for Han Seal-o!

 

Week 8-9: The waiting game

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