by Julienne Stroeve, CIRES, NSIDC, CU Boulder, University College London, University of Manitoba
Tonight we should reach within 20 miles of Polarstern and then we will plan a route through the distributed buoy network to come alongside the ship. Probably in 5 days we will switch out the crew. For days we were making good progress (traveling at 10 knots) through relatively thin (50cm) FYI, but now we're mostly in second year ice which is 1 to 2m thick and we are moving much more slowly (around 3 knots). It's now about -25C and wind speeds around 9 m/s. Looks like we'll have a high pressure over us for a few days which will be really nice and make it easier to start working. Sounds like the dynamic ice conditions at Polarstern have been challenging and sites have had to be moved several times. We hope to establish good protocols for the remote sensing site once we arrive. I'll send more updates once I'm on Polarstern...