Blog without Internet Access? Here’s How I Did It!

Here’s the nutshell: we have not had internet or mobile phones – AT ALL – on this expedition. I think I may have made this whole blog process look easy from the other side, with all the photos and stories I’ve sent. But let me tell you the whole story. As I said the other day when we had “technical difficulties” and I couldn’t post anything but that small note, we have been in one of the most remote areas of the Earth. So, how have I been getting these posts out to you? Teamwork! Every day, I have been listening to scientists, watching experiments, asking questions, taking pictures, writing stories, and replying to all of your questions from the previous day (I also make sure to get input from the scientists for your questions). Then I reduce the size of the photos (by a lot), and put all the blog posts, pictures, Twitter/Instagram posts, and replies to your comments into just ONE document on my laptop. Each day, I take that document on a flashdrive up to my friend Oleg in the radio room, who attaches that document to ONE email – my only email of the day. I insert a sim card that I brought with me on the expedition into the Iridium Satellite Open Port, and wait, and wait, for the email to be sent with the slow connection. And for reference, sending email costs $13 per megabyte. (Next time you attach a beautiful high-resolution, 5megabyte photo or attachment to an email and hit send, look at the size of the email and remember that number – that’s why I reduce the image size by a lot before sending.) So, I send that one email a day to my colleague and friend back home. Then everything is copy/pasted into the blog, Twitter, Instagram, etc, along with all my replies to your comments. And every day, I pick up my incoming email (in paper copy form), with all of the new comments ready to be answered. And I start a new day again!

Imagine this – I have been communicating with you, and creating this blog, and I can’t even see it for myself! How crazy is that? As I said, this place is REMOTE. And nothing works on the ship, or with this blog, without teamwork. In any case, how could it possibly not be worth it to share photos like these with all of you???

Just a fraction of my email “inbox” sprawled over my cabin!

Just a fraction of my email “inbox” sprawled over my cabin!

The amazing people, science, and operations onboard – here is when a group of us were lowered by crane onto the frozen ocean to take ice measurements (with expedition Chief Scientist Vladimir Ivanov on deck

The amazing people, science, and operations onboard – here is when a group of us were lowered by crane onto the frozen ocean to take ice measurements (with expedition Chief Scientist Vladimir Ivanov on deck)

More cool science and operations onboard – here’s when I got to take a water sample from the CTD which scientists had just raised up from over 3000meters deep in the ocean

More cool science and operations onboard – here’s when I got to take a water sample from the CTD which scientists had just raised up from over 3000meters deep in the ocean

Even more incredible people, science, and operations onboard – here a mooring is  being deployed a couple miles down into the ocean

Even more incredible people, science, and operations onboard – here a mooring is being deployed a couple miles down into the ocean

Still more awesome people – the students in the NABOS Summer School got to see and learn so much firsthand

Still more awesome people – the students in the NABOS Summer School got to see and learn so much firsthand

This amazing ship that we are on, and the environment around us – here the ship was able to crack through ice and we saw this beautiful blue color

This amazing ship that we are on, and the environment around us – here the ship was able to crack through ice and we saw this beautiful blue color

The Sun over a sea of ice. Enough said.

The Sun over a sea of ice. Enough said.

Polar bears. Enough said. Photo from Drew Slater

Polar bears. Enough said. Photo from Drew Slater

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14 Responses to Blog without Internet Access? Here’s How I Did It!

  1. jonathan lozano says:

    hello Lindsay I was wonder if you take water samples from the tubes that you have wouldn’t the water freeze in the tubes and clog it

  2. jonathan lozano says:

    is the ice more thick than other ice like can things with stand the ice

    • lindsay says:

      Dear Jonathan, if it gets thick enough, the ice can definitely withstand the ship, because there were a few times when we had to put the ship’s motion in reverse because it was too thick. Imagine ice strong enough to withstand a ship. And imagine a ship strong enough to break through 6 foot thick ice. So cool!

  3. Fran says:

    WOW! WOW! And more WOW! There doesn’t seem to be one tiny thing about your expedition that wasn’t amazing; people,experiments, photos and this blog! WELL DONE, everyone! Thanks for sharing with all of us blog followers.

    • lindsay says:

      Thanks, I’m glad my blog followers have found the same excitement that I found in everything onboard! I don’t know how anyone could not be inspired by so many incredible details of the ship, the people, the polar bears, the ice… so cool!

  4. Camila Ortiz says:

    Hello Lindsay! It is crazy how much trouble it is to keep your blog running. Of course, it must be no trouble at all since you are really into it. My question is about the picture of the beautiful blue ice. It is really sad to know that so much of it is melting every day. How much do you think the thickness of the ice has decreased over time?

    • lindsay says:

      Dear Camila, the blog has been a lot of work, but totally worth it, because it seems like so many people were almost as excited about it as I was! And I agree, that blue color that I saw in the ice is my absolute favorite color! It is so beautiful. About the thickness of the ice, it depends from location to location, but you can see an amazing and scary animation of what satellite images have shown us about ice conditions over the last couple decades. Go to the “Learn, Animate, Experiment” page on the blog (http://www.miamisci.org/lindsayinthearctic/learn-experiment-animate/climate-animations/) and click on the first image, then choose “sea ice” and slide the bar back and forth to see ice conditions over time.

  5. Rochae Torrence LEOMHS says:

    Hey Lindsay, congrats on your safe landing ! The picture of the ship cracking through the ice amazed me. The ship obviously wasn’t going super fast but, at about what speed did it take to crack through all of that ice?!

    • lindsay says:

      Dear Rochae, it amazed me too! The ship can go much faster through open water, but through thick ice, it needs the 3rd and maybe even the 4th engine fired up, and it will go about 3knots (a knot is a unit of speed on the water – the unit of 1 knot = 1nautical mile per hour, and depends on the latitude you’re in). It’s not very fast!

  6. Rochae Torrence LEOMHS says:

    How many hours did you guys spend daily, actually working and collecting data ?

    • lindsay says:

      Hi Rochae, it was a 24 hour operation on the ship – we had “stations” (over 120 throughout the expedition) where we stopped the ship at a given position to take measurements or deploy equipment, and no matter what time of day we got there, someone was always there to do it!

  7. Stephanie Blanco says:

    How did it feel to be hauled over in a crane to get on ice?

    • lindsay says:

      Hi Stephanie, it was the most surreal feeling, I felt like a piece of cargo, but then I felt like I was being transported to another planet!It was so super cool.

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