4 November, 2001
Since I had sea ice training yesterday, I was invited to go with the divers as they went on a dive to collect samples of foraminifera and algae at Cape Evans near Scott's hut. Dr. Pollock and Phil Forte (whose job away from Antarctica is to pilot the "Alvin" deep-sea submarine), got suited up to dive. The dive hole had to first be cleared of sea ice. The divers had about three layers under their dry suits as they went into 28 degree Fahrenheit water.
The strong wind was cold enough to make the group find shelter from time to time in the warm orange vehicles called Sprytes. While the divers were down under the ice, the rest of the group visited the historic Scott hut. It was amazing to see this 90 year old hut in remarkably good condition. It seemed that Robert F. Scott, the expedition leader who died on the way back from the South Pole in 1911, could walk in at any minute. The boots filled with hay to keep them dry, the lantern by Scott's bed, penguin eggs, and the penguin on the worktable seemed to suggest that someone would be coming back soon.
After leaving the dive site, the group encountered a lone Adelie penguin walking toward us down the
ice road. The road, marked by green flags to show the safest route, didn't prevent the little tuxedo-suited penguin from tripping on the ice. After the penguin fairly raced across the land, we went on to the ice caves. The entrance of the cave led into a sculptured room with ice crystal formations hanging from the ceiling. The blue ice made the place look magical.
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