Wednesday, December 26, 2007

December 27, 2007
WAIS Divide camp Antarctica

Time: 6 am
Latitude: 79° 28.10’ S
Longitude: 112° 3.56’ W
Elevation: 1820 m (5919’)
Temperature: -15 °C ( 5 °F)
Wind speed: 5 km/h (3 mp/h)
Wind Chill: (-20°C (-5°F)
Visibility: 2 + miles
Clouds: overcast
Wind direction: NE
Relative Humidity: 76%
Barometric Pressure: rising
Precipitation: 0
Breakfast: eggs, sausage-bacon, toast, hot/cold cereal, fresh pineapple -yum!
Lunch: burgers, fries, vegies
Supper: Last night - fish, vegies, rice pilaf

I have a special treat for you. Antarctica is not just about science.
The whole place is full of beauty and wonder and promotes all kinds of
creativity. While we were inMcMurdo there was a special program organized by many of the women that work in McMurdo. Their program titled “The Women’s Soiree” has been on-going in McMurdo
every year for about 12 years. This event is a charity event and raffle
tickets are sold with all proceeds going to benefit a charity in
Christchurch NZ to thank that town for all it does for the US Antarctic
Program and the thousands of scientists and support staff that travel
through there each year. This year over $4,500 was raised. During the
event there were dozens of women that entertained the station with
music, art, dances, and skits. One of the performers we heard that
evening was from our WAIS Divide travel representative Sharon Lewis.
Sharon recited a poem that she originally wrote as a song. With
permission from Sharon, her poem/song is reproduced below. Thanks

Antarctica, you are always cold
But you always know what no one knows about the wind
And that wind does blow
Across the heart
Through your soul
Full of light, then
Full of dark
From a long, black night that holds the stars
And won’t let go
Until the Sun begins to glow
Above your white
On a long, slow dawn
Full of rainbow
Full of song

You’re soft as snow
And hard as ice
I know someday I’ll pay the price
For secrets lost
That are not mine
Secrets no one should

Antarctica, you are always cold
But you always know what no one knows about the wind

Sharon Lewis © 2007

PS I f you have questions or comments for Sharon you are welcome to direct them to her through the blog.

Today’s image is of the galley and a few of the other buildings here at the WAIS
Divide camp. There was some confusion that we were all living, eating,
and working in tents. We do have tent city and 90% of us live in tents
but we also have a number of building for the galley, showers, medical,
communications, and a few other things.


Brandon Gillette said...

What a great poem! I will certainly be showing that to the students once I return back to the states and to the classroom. It's nice to see that you were able to get a quadrat up and running as well. I plan to be in touch with you during your time on the ice and am anxious to start some data collection with the students using your 3D quadrat system. Hope your Christmas was Merry!

zach said...

Thanks Brandon. Great to meet you and I look forward to working with you and your kids.

Anonymous said...


How many women work at McMurdo. recently 16,488 condoms were delivered to the base. How does that fit in [excuse the pun!] What's the average number of partners each women has on the base, etc?