Saco vazio não para em pé!

In Brazil, the country in which I was born, a popular proverb states “Saco vazio não para em pé!”, which means “an empty bag won’t stand”. It is widely use by parents to kids to illustrate the importance of a meal and usually a good meal. Chips and chocolates do not fill up the bag. Thousands of kms from Brazil, during the ice camp expedition, I had no problem to fill up “the bag” or “biddon” as we said many times at the camp…

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Extreme icebreaker and floating village

The Amundsen, giant of the seas…

Spending three weeks onboard the CCGS Amundsen in Baffin Bay is a unique experience… The icebreaker’s mission since 2003 is to provide the logistics for scientific campaigns and allow access to the inhospitable waters of the Arctic Ocean. The ship uses its weight (8171 tons ) and thrust to crush the sea ice. It is powered by six diesel engines totaling 15,000 horse power to progress in thick icepacks often exceeding 1 meter. It feels like being constantly in a magnitude 2 earthquake. Many times on this trip I pondered: How can men build such amazing vessels? The design, operation, and navigation are fascinating.

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Gliders: The start of operations (Part 1)

After spending several months preparing our ocean gliders activities very carefully (see, we finally  left Quebec city on board the Amundsen icebreaker. We spent the entire week of transit making final preparations for deployment. We installed all the communication gear.  We measured what we call the dark offsets of each of the scientific sensors (i.e. the baseline noise measurements).  We ran, for the nth time, simulated missions under a virtual ice floe (either the gliders have this capability of simulating missions, or we use a pocket-sized computer which is identical to that inside the glider).  

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