As the field season progressed, the MIT team recorded and posted daily a record of their activities, along with a few selected photos.
The field site's logbook has been duplicated here.
July 8, 2005
Written by Olivier de Weck
The expedition started at the Neumann Hangar next to Bldg. 33 on the MIT campus. Members of the first group were Olivier de Weck, Erica Gralla, Mike Li and Matt Silver. We loaded the Dept. of Aeronautics and Astronautics van with our gear for the first group. This included nine duffel bags with personal equipment, tents, tripods, a rollable tool chest, two RFID suitcases, and various personal backpacks. In total our equipment probably weighed around 500 lbs. It rained throughout the entire loading process and we all hoped that this was not a bad omen for the weather we would experience at the Haughton Crater. Sam Schweighart drove us to Logan airport and Boston traffic was very light, so that we arrived at Terminal C within a matter of 15 minutes. We hired a porter to help with the extensive luggage and then checked in with Air Canada. The service agent waved the penalty fee of $50 for the extra luggage after we told him where we were going. (Did he feel compassion for us?). We had lunch at Legal Seafood's.
The flight went rather smoothly and took 1 hour 15 minutes. The airplane was a small Bombardier Dash 8 Series turboprop with approximately 25-30 passengers. Flight Air Canada Jazz 8047 was completely full. We took off under gray skies and disappeared in the clouds only a few hundred feet above the runway. We then remained in the clouds for the entire flight duration. My guess is that we were flying around 20,000-25,000 feet based on my experience flying in a C-130. Turboprops are quite loud and vibration is significant compared to business and commercial jets. We landed in Ottawa at the National Airport around 4:00 p.m.
We recovered our luggage and made our way through the Ottawa airport, which is small but very modern and clean. We all made it through immigration, except for Erica. She was "detained" by an immigration officer and questioned for 15-20 minutes about the purpose of the trip and the nature of the research, where it would be published and so forth. The question was whether she needed a work permit to enter Canada under these circumstances. After some consultation it was determined that this was not needed and Erica was released. We were also stopped at customs, primarily due to the RFID equipment. After explaining that we would do research on exploration logistics on Devon Island we were waived through and did not have to pay taxes. We grabbed two cabs and drove about 20 minutes into downtown Ottawa to check in at the Ottawa Delta Hotel.
We decided to explore Ottawa and do some sightseeing while it was still light. Matt got some advice from his girlfriend – who is from Ottawa – via cell phone and we strolled past various ministry buildings, the House of Parliament (Figure 2) and the Prime Minister's office.
After a few more blocks we arrived at an open-air market with a lively crowd and many street performers. We settled in at the Heart & Crown restaurant for an open air dinner. We talked about the upcoming expedition, our different views and experiences with supply chain management and logistics and what we hoped to get out of the expedition.
On the way back we were treated to a colorful sunset (our last one for a while!) over the Ottawa River (Fig. 3). We also saw a spectacular light and music show where Parliament building was illuminated and an overview of Canadian geography, culture and history was given.
We returned to the hotel around 10:00p.m. and ordered the shuttle bus for the next morning for 6:53a.m. The next day would bring a much longer flight, due North.