26 April, 2003
For those of you following my journal entries, have you gotten a headache yet? If you have, it is of no wonder. I do not know what is happening when I up-link entries and pictures, but I am finding a lot of mistakes. I am a perfectionist, so it bothers me when I have a problem.
Thankfully, we have this wonderful and incredible website coordinator at Rice University in the Earth Science Department, April Metz, who helps each TEA with his/her website woes. SHE is going to have a headache Monday morning when she opens her e-mail and finds all of the messages from me about getting my website corrected! I want to applaud April and tell her how much I appreciate her and her expertise. I am not a website master. She reviews each journal entry and pictures. Any noticeable errors are mended immediately. Hopefully, your website woes headaches will be ceasing soon.
Crab eater Seals
Last night, Maggie quietly tiptoed to each building and announced that she had a Palmer Station newsflash. Well, I could not imagine what could occur at Palmer that would be a newsflash, so I listened intently. Two crab eater seals had disembarked from the sea at the Palmer Station beach, slithered up to the front yard, and began slipping, sliding, and playing in all of the snow. Operations at Palmer Station halted. Everyone ran to get his/her camera and wanted to observe the seals. They were so cute.
Our research team occupies Lab 10 downstairs in the Biolab Building. Lab 10 conveniently has double doors leading out to what we call the road between the Biolab Building and the Dive Locker/Boathouse. Normally, Lab 10 only has S-022 people working in it. S-022 is the name of our parcticular research team. Last night, it became the most popular room on the station. Lab 10 has a landing right outside the double doors and that landing is the closest anyone could get to the seals. So, that is where everyone began to congregate so that s/he could get the best pictures. Now, we could have actually walked up to the seals, but that would have been against the law. Unless a scientist is working directly with crab eater seals has a government permit, we are required to leave them alone.
Several hours later, another seal showed up and by this morning, we had four seals out front altogether. I was muling the cart (see journal entry for April 15) this morning after a dive. I was walking backwards because the cart was very heavy with 2 dive tanks and 2 BC's. I didn't realize it, but I was headed straight into a seal! When Rob, warned me, I turned around and the seal was growling at me. That seal did not like me moving in on his/her personal space! Then, my feet slipped under me and I sat down in the snow! I took my shortcoming gracefully and just sat there and laughed until I had enough energy to try and stand back up. If you have ever seen the movie "A Christmas Story," you will understand how I felt. At the end of that movie, the little boy goes outside with so many layers on, when he falls down, he cannot get back up. Well, that is how I was. We all had on extra layers today and I had on so many, I could not bend my knees or elbows and once my feet slipped out from under me, I could not get back up. Remember the commercial, "Help! I've fallen and can't get up!"?
Please take the words road, front yard, and backyard lightly. Here at Palmer Station we do not have any roads. A beaten path in the pebbles is a more accurate description because it is the route most often taken, so we call it the road. The front yard is the area facing the beach in front of the buildings and the back yard is the area beyond the last building on the hill before you reach the glacier. There is a significant difference between back yard and glacier. You are either in the backyard or you are on the glacier. The 2 are not synonymous.
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