12 November, 2001
Earlier in the week (November 9th), we had to stop melting a hole in the sea ice for the upcoming hydrology (water) testing when we discovered that the generator didn't have the required voltage. (I'm beginning to accept the fact that "Yes, this is Antarctica, and what works so easily at home can put us on hold for days &if we are lucky!") We were able to get another generator flown in by helicopter on a "sling load". It's an interesting sight to see a helicopter flying in with a load attached to a net. Dr. Bowser and Tim, the Eagle Scout experiencing Antarctica, got everything together to finish the drilling/melting method needed to enlarge the hole. Tim took the ATV to the site in order to get things set up for drilling. Dr. Bowser requested that I assist Tim for safety purposes. Since Tim had taken the ATV, I decided to walk to the hole-melting site. As I crossed through the transition zone (where the land meets the sea), I noticed that some melting had begun. The sea ice was slippery, but it was easy to traverse on foot. The only problem was foolishly stepping onto a patch of snow. A couple of times, I stepped ankle-deep through snow-covered slush. When I reached Tim, we finished checking out the drill before heading back to shore. It's hard not to pull out a camera, even as you work, because the scenery is spectacular here. As I walked across the ice, Mt. Erebus, the southern-most active volcano, was looming before me. To learn more about Mt. Erebus, see the journal entries from two TEA teachers, Tim Vermatt and Jean Pennycook. (../ and "Meet the Teachers"). The sight of Mt. Erebus, especially on a clear day, never fails to fill me with awe. It makes me reach for my camera in hopes of capturing the "special feeling" brought out by seeing the beauty of Antarctica. Tim bravely sat in the cart attached to the ATV as he encouraged me to drive the ATV back to our base camp. Tim is a "born teacher". He encourages learning, as well as absorbs learning himself. I can see why he was the Eagle Scout chosen for this Antarctic experience. I will have a feature story on him (November 14th ) before he leaves our camp. The ATV safely made its way back to the dive hut, despite my frozen fingers. Besides doing science here, we all take turns doing jobs to maintain the camp. Tim and I cooked dinner since the divers were still collecting specimens. Dr. Korsun and Dr. Pawlowski were working with the forams at the surface (more on that later). Tonight, I had to pack my gear for the trip out to Marble Point tomorrow. It should be exciting to watch the formation of a new dive hole by blasting through the ice!
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