Thursday, December 18, 2008

WAIS - Dec 18, 2008 - Marie

Marie DelGrego

Date: December 18, 2008
Location: WAIS Field Camp (Science Rac Tent)
Latitude: 79°28’1.2”S
Longitude: 112°5’6.0”W
Elevation: 1,759m

Hi, my name is Marie. I have never written in any blog before, let alone this one. I couldn’t figure out how to get the weather info, so here is my take on our weather. It has been incredibly warm today, for Antarctic standards that is. This morning I was walking from building to building in just my regular shirt. But to be outside for more than a minute or two, I would want my warm coat. The sky has been an incredible, most beautiful color of blue. Not exactly royal blue, not turquoise blue, some where in between and so vibrant you can’t stop looking at it in amazement. There has not been much wind, which is part of the reason it seems so warm to me. I’m a little kooky when it comes to cold though, I go skiing in shorts in the spring…. ? I grew up in Michigan with lots of cold and snow. There have been a few clouds here and there, wispy clouds that fade into broad ripples, very beautiful. And then there is the snow, as I’m sure you know by now, there is more snow here, than anything else.

Ok, pretend you are tiny, the size of a small pea. You are standing on a large white piece of Styrofoam the size of a city block that squeaks when you walk on it. Then imagine an extra extra large blue bowl, big enough to cover that huge piece of Styrofoam. This bowl has been placed over you, but it is not dark, it is incredibly bright and sunny. So bright you have to wear sunglasses or it might hurt. Add in that it is really cold, like standing inside of your refrigerator’s freezer. Now think about your happiest thought, one that makes you smile like never before. That…….is how I feel while I am in Antarctica. I want to cry I am so happy!!!

I am a videographer, not one of the scientists. I am here making a documentary for the WAIS Divide project. That is partly why I am so happy, I love to film things! I got a great shot of a LC 130 air plane today. I set up my camera at the end of the snow runway. I zoomed in on the plane. The plane took off and flew right over the camera by literally around 80 feet! It was loud and fast. It can take several hours to set up for one shot. When the documentary is done I will let Logan know how to access it and you all can see it too. Many of the others dug a huge pit in the snow. There is one pit that is almost 7’ deep 6’ wide and 12’ long. On three of the sides another pit was dug to expose light to the thin wall that now stands between them. They will put large sheets of plywood over the main pit so there is no light in it. When you go inside the main pit with the cover on, all you can see is the little bit of light that now shines through the snow walls. It is a luscious blue color and you can see each layer of snow like the layers in a cake when you cut a wedge out of it. This will be in the documentary too, it’s really beautiful.

As for the food today, the most important part is that it was delicious, as always. They treat us extremely well here. I mean it, gourmet food, really! We never want for anything when it comes to food. I have no idea what I am going to do when I get back to the US and my home. I can’t cook as well as the cooks do here, I am spoiled rotten. Not to mention my pants feel tight already….geez!

Well, it’s time to go relax a bit before bed, it has been a long day.

Ciao, and think warm thoughts for us here in Antarctica, so we can stay toasty warm. ?


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