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Mike Bullivant's Diary

Day 22: Speed and Melt of Glacier

Mike and EllenDay 1 of the fourth programme, and I really had difficulty getting out of bed this morning. The five-day break was wonderful, but getting back to work takes a real effort. By 8.30 am we're at the sawmill recording the piece that will open the programme. Ellen and I are given the job of assessing whether the Franz Josef Glacier that sits in a valley just south of here is melting, and if so, by how much. Easy peasy I think, then Kate (Humble) tells us that we also have to devise some way of making a portable heat source for use by the rest of the team. They're off up into the mountains for an overnight stay in a hut on the glacier. I wish I was going with them.

By 10.30 am Ellen and I have knocked together a device for taking measurements at the glacier face. We've wasted a lot of time already this morning, as the other film crew need absolute silence while they record a long piece to camera from Kathy. That's one of the problems with Rough Science. The viewer is given the impression that we have three full days to complete these challenges, but in fact it's something closer to a day and a half - if you're lucky. There are often times when you can't get on because, like this morning, we need complete silence while the second film crew does its work.

By noon Ellen and I have set off from the sawmill with Sophie, our Director, Drew (the cameraman), Kate H and Kiwi Ian (on sound) to walk up to the glacier's face. At the glacier face we spend 30 minutes setting up our simple measuring device, which, if left overnight, will tell us whether the glacier's melting faster than it's advancing, or vice versa. Then it's back down to the hotel. We finish early today. A relatively easy one………

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Photo: Mike Bullivant
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