Sunday, December 23, 2007

December 24, 2007
WAIS Divide camp Antarctica

Time: 6 am
Latitude: 79° 28.10’ S
Longitude: 112° 3.56’ W
Elevation: 1820 m (5919’)
Temperature: -10 °C ( 8 °F)
Wind speed: 8 km/h (5 mp/h)
Wind Chill: -2°C
Visibility: unlimited
Clouds: few clouds
Wind direction: SW
Relative Humidity: 82%
Barometric Pressure: falling
Precipitation: trace
Breakfast: Eggs, pancakes, oatmeal, toast, biscuits, bacon
Lunch: sandwiches
Supper: Crab legs, roast beef, veggi stir fry, peas/carrots. Mash potatoes, asparagus, fresh bread

It turned out to be an absolutely supper day. The weather was fair, a plane landed and brought us our remaining three ice core handlers stranded n McMurdo, a National Ice Core lab person to help when we start drilling and collecting ice cores, and the person from McMurdo who is in charge of our camp personnel’s travel from McMurdo to WAIS Divide camp – and it turns out she is one of the most important people on the continent. Other than be very organized and professional, Sharon, is a very talented writer (we will publish one of her Antarctic poems on this blog soon) and makes the flags that are so important to all the camps and travel on the ground in the US Antarctic program. I have mentioned flags and flag lines a number of time on the blog and after this last big storm we understand exactly how important flags are. We have hundreds of red and green flags in this camp to mark pathways from tents to other camp buildings and black flags for danger. You might not be able to image how important these ~12” x 10” flags are to us here. I learned just days ago how vital they are to our safety when I could not see the 50’ between them as I traveled (barely) around camp during storm.

We also did some filming, a little down hole temperature, some construction in the drill arch, and more importantly we prepared for Christmas. Our Christmas party last night started with hors d’oeuvres at 5 pm and then a elaborate feast in our very festively decorated galley. We had a fantastic meal (see above) complete with a gift giving taking Yankee Swap and dancing until late (early?). Naturally everyone on station attended and we all had a fantastic time. Even cleanup afterwards was smooth with all the help. The one great thing about evening activities here is that no matter when you finish it is still light outside.

It is December 24th here in West Antarctica and Christmas eve today. For an added holiday celebration we actually get the next two days off to catch up on personal things, play, and just relax. Though most of us will still do some work, as there is much to do, it will be a casual two days.

Safe to say that folks here miss love ones back home and wish you a Merry Christmas when the day comes around on your side of the world.

PS I got a journal for my Yankee Swap gift – how appropriate.


Brandon Gillette said...

Merry Christmas! It was truly a pleasure to have met you all. I wish I could have been there for the Christmas dinner and gift exchange! It sounds like you had a wonderful time! Like I said, I will be keeping a watchful eye out on this blog and look forward to the stories! This has all been a truly amazing experience and something that I will keep with me always! Please pass along my best wishes and Christmas greetings to all those at the camp! Thank you for continuing to publish the blog and can't wait to hear about the projects that are starting to gear up in the coming weeks!

Anonymous said...


Merry Christmas! We are not even at Christmas Eve yet as you know. I 'm glad to know you are safe and enjoying your time thus far.
We are enjoying the blogs and photos

love megan

Anonymous said...

It is the morning of Christmas Eve day here in Southern Ontario and it is cold and blustery (for us) and snowing lightly. I wish you and your fellow "icers" a wonderful Christmas!


Noel said...

Hello this is Noel, Anais's brother. We are gathered here in France with the family for Christmas. Let me wish a merry Christmas to you all! I am reading your blog from the start and it is an amazing way to get news on what you are doing over there. We read it with so much pleasure, and love the photos!