28 January, 1999

Thursday, January 28th, 1999, South Pole Station

Greetings to everyone. The temperature is - 28C, with 8knots, sunny skies, bright sun.

The morning was taken up with answering questions in emails and to meet Joel for lunch. During the afternoon, I was at ARO to help out with the general collection of data monitoring CFC's CO2, aerosol, and total ozone. I am getting better reading the DOBSON for total ozone but it will take me a while to get faster. Joel is a very good teacher. We have to do the readings 3 times a day each reading contains 3 times 2 (6) different readings.

I was often ask by students why the ozone whole closes again after the month of October. Interesting question and I will discuss that tomorrow. I will consult the experts again.

During the morning we had a parcticular interesting event - don't we ever! THE FIRST HELICOPTER EVER ARRIVED HERE AT THE SOUTH POLE. It was exciting to all of us and we went out to great them and to take pictures. The helicopter came from Chile and was accompanied by smaller planes. The first general of Chile and his crew cam to visit to explore and expand rescue possibilities. I am including in this journal the official write up we all received here on station from our station manager, Dave Fisher.


January 28 at 18:50 hours an UH 60L Black Hawk helicopter from the Chilean Air Force (FACH) landed at Admundsen Scott Station at the South Pole. The helicopter flew from Punta Arenas (Chile, South America), crossing the Drake Passage, to the South Pole, via the Antarctic Peninsula, flying in total a distance of 4.568 kilometers, refueling at Frei, Carvajal, Fossil Bluff (BAS - UK) and Patriot Hills Stations. Crossing Drake Passage took 7 hours with a last refueling in Puerto Williams. Five hours and five minutes took the helicopter to flight from Patriot Hills to the South Pole, covering a distance of 1.100 kilometers. The objective of the operation was to enlarge the area of search and rescue of the FACH and to prove this kind of material in S/R Antarctic operations. On board of the helicopter was the head of the FACH, General Fernando Rojas Vender and at the South Pole he was welcome by David Fisher, manager of the NSF Admunsen Scott Station during his visit of four hours to this station. During the next Goa meeting the FACH will deliver a complete report of this trip.

We met all members during lunch and we could chat with all of them including the General. Back to ARO to work in the lab, editing journals, download pictures…. During the evening I had the chance to talk to the German representatives of the ANANDA team and to learn about their work in Germany.

The satellites would not be up until midnight, and I prepared new lists to mail out ozone data. A ski after midnight just before bedtime was just like ' a walk around the block' and I love the moment of total silence. The space and view in front of me is always tranquilizing…. How small we are …. How vulnerable in this vast field of snow…. We have not adapted to this environment at all…. Only our brain helps us to survive here …. nothing more. If something fails … the power, the heating… we would be lost. I need to find out about what makes this station work.

The helocopter from Chile has arrived.

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