This is clearly a very disappointing time for the team who are now busy draining down the systems and preparing all the cargo for uplift – not an insignificant task. However, whilst the field season did not turn out the way we had planned, there are a number of valuable lessons we can learn from this experience which will contribute to the collective, global knowledge in hot water drilling.
The consortium will now regroup and take stock of the situation. There are lessons to be learned and there is equipment to be serviced. The fundamental science questions raised by the programme remain viable, interesting and unanswered and the consortium will be preparing plans to revisit the exploration of subglacial Lake Ellsworth at some point in the future.
So keep watching. This is not over yet!
Finally, we would like to acknowledge everyone for the tremendous support and encouragement we have received. I know you will be as disappointed as we are about this outcome, but the enthusiasm with which you have followed our progress has been extremely uplifting for us. On behalf of the field team and the wider consortium I would like to say “thank you”. We wish you all the very best for a happy and successful 2013.
Subglacial Lake Ellsworth Programme Manager