Today was an interesting day. We had a slight delay as I worked with Fixed Wing to coordinate the camp pull out. When we finally walked out to the skidoos, neither one would start. Both skidoos were dead. We went through the skidoo troubleshooting guide to try to solve the problem ourselves. Having already tried our hands as skidoo mechanics, we felt confident that we could figure out the problem (see post from 11/14/16). Nothing was working. We changed the spark plugs, checked for leaks, checked the filters, pressurized the carburetor lines, and drained the fuel lines and carburetor. After checking all the things on our end, Evan called Tony at the MEC for further advice. We had already speculated that the problem was fuel related, hence draining the fuel lines. After going through all the symptoms again with Tony, he thought maybe we had a MOGAS barrel instead of PREMIX. We sent Demian out to check the barrels at the fuel cache. This was a priceless moment. Even was talking with Tony, Tony detailing a lot of complex information over the phone. Suddenly we heard Demian shout out while running back to the tent, “Problem solved! Problem solved!” He ripped open the tent door as Evan quietly asked, “Is it MOGAS?” Demian interjected, “Aviation fuel” with a matter-of-fact head shake. “No kidding?” pipes in Evan. Another head shake from Demian, “Aviation fuel.” Demian zipped up the tent door as Evan turned back to his conversation with Tony, “That’s really bad.” Did I mention that I caught the whole scene on video? I cannot describe how many times we replayed this scene. It is a combination of ridiculousness and amazement that two skidoos have been running on aviation fuel for the last week.
The absurdity of the aviation fuel discovery was added to with us deciding to get in a full day of sampling still. We left camp right at 5PM and did not return until just before midnight. One skidoo broke again by the end of the day, so we towed it back to camp. Too long of a day. But at least we made it out. We only have so many days at this location, so I am glad to work longer days if that means we are able to access more areas. We filled just over three boxes with rocks today. Day well spent.