Thursday, January 17, 2008

January 18, 2008
WAIS Divide camp Antarctica

Time: 6 am
Latitude: 79° 28.10’ S
Longitude: 112° 3.56’ W
Elevation: 1820 m (5919’)
Ice core: ~ 480m (1,460’) ~ the year 0 - the birth of Christ
Temperature: -15°C (5°F)
Wind speed: 0-10 km/h (0-6 mp/h)
Wind Chill: -20°C (-5°F)
Visibility: 11 km (7 miles)
Clouds: few thin high stratus
Wind direction: N/NE
Relative Humidity: 80%
Barometric Pressure: steady
Precipitation: - 0
Animals: 6 Skuas, 12 Weddell seals (all in McMurdo)
Breakfast: English muffins, bagels, grilled ham, cereal, homemade hot chocolate
Lunch: fried rice, steak stir fry, veggie stir fry
Supper: Lasagna (meat and veggie), Tira Misu

days ago I mentioned the pink sprinkle cookies that Karen the night
chef had made for us and asked you all for suggestions on what we
should celebrate. You responses were fantastic (see comments from the 16th)
and I wanted to pass on a few of those and make some additional
comments. One thing that we started celebrating yesterday was the
arrival of the mythical C-130 plane. It has been a long time since we
have seen a plane but it did arrive. It brought with it a lot of
friends, colleagues, and supplies including Dr Charlie Bentley who I
spoke about the other day, a good friend of ours and asst. director of
the project’s science management office Joe Souney , folks from the
National Science Foundation (NSF) to see the arch and our drilling
progress, folks form NOVA, a few other support folks fromMcMurdo , and
believe it or not – mail and fresh grapefruit from the US. So, we are
celebrating the safe arrival of these folks, and fresh fruit.

Below are some of the ideas for celebration I received through the blog.

A few things you could celebrate on the 16th:

“1953: Corvette introduced in New York”

“The ability to eat delicious meals that are prepared for you ... instead of hunting for food cache's or eating seal meat.”

“ The ability to bathe whenever you feel the need ... and with warm water!”

“1945: Hitler descends to bunker to remain until suicide”

“You are not alone! You have many new friends from all over the globe
to get to know and learn to appreciate their varied cultures!”

“The fact that you have the opportunity visit a beautiful place”

“Beatles' album Yellow Submarine released- 1969”

“I’d love to just eat a cookie in that amazing place”

it is a little too easy to become complacent about where we are and I
apologize if some of my comments sound a little conceited – being in
Antarctica and whining about no hot chocolate. Not only do I understand
that we are some of the luckiest people in the world to be here and
able to do this science, but we are among the few percent of the
population of the world that live in peace and do not go to bed hungry
– for that we are eternally grateful. Certainly the comments about just
being, and just being here are correct and I (we) am happy to be among
an amazingly talented group of people, it is reward enough. Today (and
everyday) it is certainly time just to celebrate the ability to
celebrate with friends, and in Antarctica.

We also hope to get an additional C-130 plane tomorrow to take our ice cores back to McMurdo. The next plane after that is scheduled for Tuesday which will take many of us back to McMurdo to hopefully catch the next lift to NZ at the end of the week.

I also want to pass on the map showing our resupply vessel locations. The map is made by our new GIS service provider, The Antarctic Geospatial Information Center, These vessels will be docking soon at McMurdo
to resupply the station, bring supplies for other stations to be
eventually distributed, and to take lots of stuff (our ice cores
included) back to the states. This site is funded by the NSF's office of Polar Programs.

Thanks for the comments everyone. Please comment whenever the spirit moves you.

The image today is of Rebecca at the DEP machine. Who is thankful that she received letters from her friend Anne's 3rd grade class at PS261, room 3-312, in Brooklyn.

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