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4 December, 2003

Still here, but skies are clear!

Temperature: 26*F

Location: McMurdo Station, Antarctica

When I ended my last journal, we were in a condition 2 weather advisory. It was not long before we bumped up to condition 1! The force of the wind was remarkable. I am told that although it was officially condition 1, it was not nearly as bad as it can get.

Everyone was required to stay in the buildings they were in, no outside travel allowed "without being tethered." The Crary Lab, where I was situated, rattled in the rage of the wind. The walls shook and the windows bellowed with the lashings thrust upon them. I can now truly appreciate the havock such conditions can have on this region. It was fun to experience, but I must admit I am glad it did not last long. The winds soon subsided back to condition 3.

The storm left quite an aftermath of snow drifts to be dug out. All flights in and out of the area were obviously cancelled. Walking around the Crary Lab, I could feel the frustration from the teams that were still trying to venture out into the field. Weather delays cause serious logistical problems for teams trying to deploy!

With the skies now clear, everything is moving again. The bustling energy among all the teams is like a champagne cork being popped. Helicopters are shuttling teams throughout the region and planes in Christchurch are getting loaded to head this way. Peter and I have "bag drag" tonight; this is when we take all our bags except hand carry luggage to the hanger. Once these bags are deposited, we no longer have access to them, so we hope conditions stay clear! If all goes as scheduled, we will be heading back to Christchurch tomorrow.

I am sad to be leaving Antarctica; it has been an amazing experience. Thanks again to Peter Doran for allowing me to join his team and experience part of his amazing research! See you all "stateside!"

1. Condition 1 in McMurdo Station and surrounding area!

2. Condition 1 sign posted on all the doors.

3. Door to the Berg Field Center as the storm started.

4. Door to the Berg Field Center after the storm!

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