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24 November, 2004

Early morning call starts the day off right!

Temperature: 27*F

Location: Lake Hoare

My day could not have gotten off to a better start! At 4:05 am, my alarm disrupted me from an all too short sleep. But, I awoke to a crisp blue sky contrasting sharply against the jagged mountains. The sun was blazing its warmth into my soul. I quickly remembered the reason I was up so early: I had a chance to talk to all my friends back home!

I booted up my computer and loaded the pictures I had sent to Arlyn Bruccoli in NH who had worked hard to put them into a power point for our internet “Live Chat.” It was so nice to speak to everyone this morning. Thank you for taking the time to “tune in” and visit with me for a while. I was charged for the day!

We were in the water by 8:00 am. During my first dive, I collected water samples from two different depths. During Ian’s dive, he took the oxygen sensor to a shallower water location in order to make comparisons with the deeper water values from yesterday.

My second dive, I collected core and mat samples for Brandy Anglen who is studying the sulfur isotope signatures within the mat. This information will allow her to determine ecosystem dynamics at different levels of the lake. I first had to take two core samples from a depth of 70 feet; it’s dark down there! I also took a simple mat sample for Brandy to analyze. I then went to 16 feet to collect samples from the liftoff zone. This took me back to the “ghostly graveyard” I had discovered yesterday. I collected the sample, then spent some time taking pictures of the beautiful formations.

As I ended the dive, I relished my final ascent to the surface; this was my last dive in Lake Hoare. I lingered a while within the tube and reflected on my thoughts of 10 days ago. The apprehension I had felt about “the tube” was unjustified. I questioned how anyone could find the tube anything but miraculous.

I will be at Lake Hoare for about four more days packing the dive gear to return to town, packing up the generators, jiffy drills, etc. I will also package up all the samples for proper shipment back to McMurdo.

I always struggle with the balance between studying our world and disturbing it. We have worked very hard to have a minimal impact on the lake. The lake has been good to us; it’s as if the lake knew we truly cared and were handling it with care. If only the rest of the world would do the same!

1) Here I am checking the water temperature for our dive: 32*F!

2) Ghostly mat #1

3) Ghostly mat #2.

4) Ghostly mat #3.

5) Ghostly mat #4.

6) Here I am in the dive hole!

7) The scenery from our dive hole; not a bad place to work!

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