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8 November, 2004

The gathering continues!

Temperature: 14*F

Location: McMurdo Station

Rounding up pieces of equipment can sometimes be a bit challenging! We had to locate and move four large containers to the “cage area” - the area where we are currently storing the gear we have already gathered. Most of our field supplies will be packed into these containers. That is... once we find them all! We successfully located two of the containers. Apparently a huge storm, with 185 mph winds, blew through McMurdo station over the winter months. Witnesses say things were flying everywhere! It is believed that two of our containers were relocated to an undetermined spot by the wind! Although all items have been re-secured, not everything has found it’s way back to its original place. Thus, our search will continue tomorrow.

Today, we also completed our training on the use of snow mobiles, ATV's, generators, hole melters, and jiffy drills. Training includes not only the proper use of these items, but also how to trouble shoot problems and make repairs while in the field. We feel ready to take on the machines!

We also picked up the GPS units, the surveying equipment, and reserved our two way radios. We scheduled our training for proper use of the radios. Later this week, we will also be trained on which repeater stations should be used to communicate with McMurdo from the field. A repeater station is basically a relay station that redirects our field signal into town. We must check in with the McMurdo safety personnel by a certain time each day or a rescue party will be deployed on our behalf. It is, obviously, quite important to be able to use the radio’s properly. No one wants to cause an unnecessary rescue operation!

1. The science support storage center in McMurdo.

2. Another view of the science support center.

3. Brandy and Jackie learn how to change the spark plug on the snow mobile.

4. Reviewing the finer details of the ATV.

5. GPS's all lined up, ready to go!

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