Science WITH Eric the scientist

  • 20200502c Derniers preparatifs avant de plonger ©Leonie Brossier
  • 20200501e France perce 1m60 de glace au tuk ©EB

Once a month, there is a fieldwork that we could not have done without Eric: collecting coralline samples by 15 meters deep and checking the various sensors allowing us to follow the growth conditions of this algae, whose strata are so revealing.

In other words, organizing a dive under the sea ice.

So this fieldwork cannot wait until the end of our quarantine. Even without any external contacts, without snowmobile and without thermal auger. Just with our little arms.

First step, making a hole through the 1.70m thick ice, large enough for Eric to pass with all his diving equipment. It takes us up to 7 hours with tuks, two of us. The tuk is this metal axis extended by a sharp edge which allows you to cut the ice, little by little. Eric ends up with a kind of super-tendinitis at the wrist, while I get painful hand muscles.

The next day, Eric looks still valid for diving. The small fishing tent is set up next to the hole to warm up the man and his equipment, before and after the dive. Léonie helps Eric with his installation inside while Aurore helps me to re-open and clean the hole, fitted with a skimmer. Then everything rolls smoothly. During a dive almost without free flow (icing), Aurore perfects her "diamond circle" nearby, then Eric comes out, happy about the dive. Once the hole is covered with snow and the diver dressed again, we share the well-deserved cake, happily tight in the small red tent.