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14 December, 2002

Second transect collecting at New Harbor

Our second collection site is at New Harbor. This is the part of the valley that opens on to the Ross Sea Ice. The Taylor Valley is about 5 miles across here, so we will have a lot of hiking to do. There are lots of moraines deposited so the hike is up and down over all the ridges of gravel type of terrain. Before we venture out into the field again, I want to show you the Jamesway where we will stay for the next 3 days.

It is a cosy set of buildings connected by a narrow "hall" that serves as a lab with two microscopes. These scopes easily distract us from collecting because we all have found things that we need to check out under the microscope. We resist the temptation for the first two days. First, we need to call to McMurdo Opps and tell them we have arrived and that we have communication available before the helicopter can leave. Laurie does this while the rest of us unpack the sling load. Then we bring all of the gear inside and decide who gets which cot. This Jamesway has a sleeping area and a kitchen ares with a big table used for all sorts of things including conferencing, playing cards, eating and recording in our research journals.

This Jamesway is stocked with lots of food. Other research teams will be coming here later in the month. Regina takes an inventory of the food here and will report any that we might need to use. Rusty and Scott need to put some fuel in the Preway, an oil burning heater that we use to melt snow for dish washing water. We have requested the use of a small generator so Scott can keep the GPS system batteries charged. However,we see none, so this is reported. I help unpack and repack the backpacks so we can get our first sampling done today.

Dr.Connell is checking out the back door of the Jamesway. To her right is the gray water barrel where all waste water is poured.

Across the room from where Regina is cooking, Laurie is recording in her journal while sitting at the kitchen table. There is plenty of room for all of us to sit around the table and make plans for our first sampling here. We need to decide how much we can do today and where we want to start. Scott gets his GPS system up and going again.

Here is our kitchen sink. It looks just like a normal sink except for one thing. The water does not drain into a pipe system. We put a bucket under the drain to catch the water. There is no plumbing our here in the field camp. We heat small amounts of water being careful to not create too much gray water while using enough to get the dishes clean and safe to use. The gray water barrels left open to evaporate, but it freezes quickly. If the barrel gets full, a lid is put on it and it will be takes back to McMurdo, then shipped back to the U.S. with all of the other liquid waste. We need to remember to check the bucket and make sure that it does not overflow.

Planning at the kitchen table We begin to plan where we will collect our first samples. Regina documents while Laurie and Scott add comments. Notice the black hand held radios. We must take these radios with us when we go out into the field. Everyone is to always have access to communication and help at all times. Safety first is the motto here. We have fun listening to the radio communications between other science research teams on the science channel.

Regina is fixing supper in the kitchen of the Jamesway. Notice the gas burning stove, microwave, and behind her is the Preway with a huge pot of melting Snow. The preway heats the Jamesway making it very comfortable.

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