Eureka is the world's second most northern permanent settlement in the world. It has a fluctuating population of 8-50. The permanent population is 8-10. Most of the people work here during the few months that is warm and suitable for construction work. All of the buildings at the station site were built above the ground, to avoid being embedded in the permafrost. Having part of the building structure in the permafrost would melt the permafrost, and cause the soil to be mush, ruining the foundation of the building itself.
We got in Eureka at about 2:00 PM C.S.T. . Shortly after Rai, the weather station's manager, showed us our rooms, we hiked northeast to a small mountain that contained rocks unique to this area and an area in northern Russia. It was about a 4-5 mile hike. The view was amazing from certain points, I starred (*) the pictures at those points. There was only a few kinds of grass and plants, and the terrain was very cracked, as seen here. On the way back we hiked along the beach.
The meals at Eureka are 3 times a day, and dinner cost us 80$ Canadian each. These are the only times they can eat, unless they bring something on their own, or have something shipped in on the plane that comes only once every three weeks.
The weather station itself launched a balloon at 6:10 P.M. E.S.T. (and another time I forgot), in synchronization with all the weather stations around the world. You can view a balloon launch here (yes he launched it while I had my back turned). They fill the balloon with their home-generated hydrogen. He told us not to get close to that building.
Their water supply is pumped from a creek, to a lagoon, which is then purified. They have to rely on this one water supply for 1 whole year, because to make their lagoon full, they have to completely drain the creek.
Rai, the current weather station's manager, took us up to the observatory. It is a very nice place with amazing views and lots of wildlife around. They shoot up two huge lasers into the sky from this building, you can view these pictures here and here. The laboratory has been out of commission for a while, even though the building is state of the art, but it will be in service once again next winter. Universities all over the world are taking joint control of the laboratory.
The sun is not supposed to set until August 29, 2004.