Update: What happened to the dye?
After two weeks of science research and camping on the ice, this morning we packed and began journeying home. We crawled out of our tents for the last time around 6 a.m., allowing two and a half hours to dress, eat, and pack our entire camp for a scheduled helicopter ride to Ilulissat. After mechanics resolved an engine problem, we loaded our gear into the enormous, 25-seater helicopter with the help of the Danish co-pilot and several other Air Greenland crew members. Then off we flew, winging west, the same direction the ice sheet flows to the coast.
The draining lake water that scientists have been studying follows this same path, a mile under the ice sheet. Sarah Das carefully watched out the plane window as we approached the boggy coastline, and waved at her graduate student’s camp along the shore. She squinted down as the plane banked and turned to Ilulissat. Would she see any sign of her dye she poured in the moulin several days ago? Since then it has been making its way west. Today would be among her last chance while still in Greenland to find out if it arrived. (SEE UPDATE: What happened to the dye?)
Read on about our adventure in the slideshow below. Can't see the slideshow? Get the Flash plug in »