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1 December, 2003

Blown Off The Continent!

Temperature: 18*F

Location: McMurdo Station, Antarctica

There are three main weather ratings in Antarctica. Condition 3 is considered "normal." The typical conditions during this level are: "winds less than 48 knots, wind chills warmer the -75*F, and visibility greater than 1/4 mile." If the weather worsens, the region goes to Condition 2. The conditions for this level require having one or more of the following qualities: "wind speeds of 48-55 knots, wind chills of -75*F to -100*F, or visibility of less than 1/4 mile." If things get even worse, we go to Condition 1 which requires having one or more of the following: "wind speeds greater than 55 knots, wind chills colder than -100*F, and visibility of less than 100 feet."

Today we went to Condition 2! It was pretty wild! I had to return a few more items to the various warehouses. As I was walking down the streets, the wind literally picked me up off my feet! I thought I might blow off the continent! When snow was blowing into my ear, through my wind block hat, I decided to tighten my parka hood! Glasses and goggles were fairly useless as the snow just accumulated on the front blocking visibility.

The wind was blowing so furiously it growled! It was quite exciting to be part of the tantrum that nature threw!

This will most likely be my last journal entry. Before I sign off, I would like to thank several people. First, thank you to the TEA program and NSF for offering me this incredible opportunity to experience Antarctica. Thanks also to the Rye Junior High School Board and Administration for supporting my parcticipation in the experience. Thanks to the Rye staff and students for your support - I can't wait to share everything with you in person. Thanks to Mrs. Cole for taking my place at school while I was gone. Thank you to the IT people here in Antarctica for helping with all the computer issues. A special thanks to family and friends for your continued support. Thank you to everyone who wrote - to ask questions and/or just to say hello. Finally, a VERY special THANK YOU to Peter Doran, Phil Allen, and Roman Borochin for allowing me to join their team! I have enjoyed my time with you, I have learned a tremendous amount, and I hope our paths may cross again some day! I had the time of my life! Cheers!

1. Weather is turning ugly. McMurdo is at condition 3, other areas: 2!

2. McMurdo at condition 2; it's howling outside!

3. Storm just getting started.

4. Storm getting worse!

5. Lucy, Red, and I at the Antarctica sign.

6. I had the time of my life!

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