9 December, 2002
No searching took place today, and none was planned. Today we expected our team member, Carlton Allen to arrive, and John Schutt to depart for the pole. Even if it was a search day, it would have been miserable. Today was the first day where we experienced the weather that we had heard about.
It started getting windy overnight, and the temperature dropped to -14F. The wind has been gusting 10-20 knots all day and the high was about -5F. We figured the windchill was about -45F. We thought we were ready for the wind, but drifts formed in areas we didn't expect and buried some of the equipment. We had to dig out the ski-doos and shovel additional snow around the base of the tents to insulate them. Everything is difficult in the wind and cold. Just chipping ice for meltwater or refueling stoves can be a challenge.
Carlton Allen arrived by twin otter today. Twin Otters are amazing airplanes that can land in strong winds, on short runways and snowy surfaces. He really enjoyed the ride on the small plane and got a view of the whole area we traversed a few days ago. He brought peanut butter bars from the McMurdo galley. McMurdo really had amazing food, but I can't complain about the food in camp. Jaime explained before we left how important good food is to the morale of the team. He's an amazing cook and seems to enjoy the art of cooking. We've already had sausages, steaks, stroganoff and a variety of sides. Tonight, Jaime and I ate over at Danny and Dante's tent and had shrimp fajitas. I stuffed myself because they were so good. It's going to be hard to camp in the future without thinking of Jaime's cooking.
Jaime went up in the twin otter to scout out our upcoming traverse to McAlpine hills. He also transferred ski-doo fuel to this camp and our camp at McAlpine. In addition to all this, he constructed a wind turbine to provide electrical power. He is arguably the busiest guy in camp.
When Jaime got back, John boarded the twin otter and left for South Pole. John's knowledge and personality will be missed. The Reconnaissance team will join him tomorrow. We know they are in good hands now that John is joining them. It's been a pleasure getting to know John and getting to work with him in the field. Thanks John.
We haven't had internet access, so Carl brought hard copies of the Rekki team's contributions to the website. They did a great job and I really appreciate their effort.
If the weather improves, we'll be searching again tomorrow. We're going to be disappointed if we don't find at least 20 meteorites. It's good to have such problems.
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