Sunday 4th - Third Down Day

On Saturday morning we decided that Sunday would be a down day.  At the same time on Saturday we decided Monday looked more promising than Sunday to do a targeted observations mission.  Less than an hour after this time, Emma had produced a high-tech flight plan on Google Earth which Ian had put into his sophisticated MATLAB program, explaining once again to a confused scientist and pilot that the dots on the flight plan didn’t represent dropsondes, and then okayed the plan with pilot Alan Foster.  Feeling rather smug at having Monday’s flight well and truly sorted two days in advance of the flight, the scientist’s thoughts turned to the impending down day, and some well-earned rest.

Daydreams of shopping and sight-seeing in Reykjavik were rudely interrupted at 10pm by the arrival of the updates to the products which, that morning, had shown that Monday was a good day to target.  The big red blobs on the plots, indications of where we should make our observations, hadn’t so much shifted a little as moved several hundred miles south, and way out of range of the aircraft.  Cancel the flight.  Start again.

Sunday morning was therefore a rather more frantic affair than usual.  As Emma mourned the loss of her red blobs and targeted observations mission, Ian and Kent had only a few hours to plan a more complicated barrier wind mission to replace it.  In the time it took them to plan the mission we also bid farewell to Stephen, returning to Norwich that day, and welcomed our last new arrival to the project, Tom Haine.      

In the afternoon most people took a well-deserved break, except Kent and Ian, still deciding where best to sample the barrier flow.  FAAM set out to explore the surrounding region with the two recent arrivals, Steve and Gaynor.  The highlight of this seems to have been finding some fish sheds, where the Icelanders hang fish up to dry.  Judging by the aroma certain people acquired and disturbingly, were encouraging others to sample on their return, they had a pretty close look at the fish.  Allan Woolley, in the meantime, was rather more excited by his discovery of bubbling pools of mud.  The PhD students exploration team couldn’t go quite as far on foot, but were nonetheless quite pleased with their discovery of a local beach.  They did decide against sunbathing on the rocks in the near-zero temperatures in favour of skimming stones into the rough seas, which Dave proved to be best at, despite tough competition from the girls.