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17 December, 2002

We will collect the last samples for this transect today. We saved the two lowest sample sites for last in case the weather turned bad. Since there is an All Terrain Vehicle here, we decide to drive on the sea ice to the sample sites. This gives us only about 500 meters to hike. What? Are we getting lazy? Not a chance. This just seems like more fun.

Rusty and Scott go our to start the ATV and immediately run into problems. The ATV starts, then dies. They continue to work on it for an hour or more. What things should they check? What would you check? What do you think is wrong?

Clear thinking and patience as well as a phone call to the experts results in the ATV finally running smoothly. We set off for the site. However, after going about a mile along the coast, the ATV stops again. What now!

What should we do? Well, the women on the team walked back to the field camp to find some tools. We are determined to get the ATV working because we do not want to leave it out on the sea ice. The team separates. Should we do this? What do we need to do to make sure no one gets into trouble? Are there any questions you want to ask us now? What would you do?

Three of us hike back to the field camp and find the tools. Just as we are about to start back, the ATV dives up. The guys fixed the problem and we are ready to roll once again. We did have radio contact with each other at all times. Safety first!

Finally we reach our destination and since we are well practiced now, the sampling moves swiftly along.

The All Terrain Vehicle will provide a good source of transportation if the fellows can figure out how to keep it running. What advice will you give them?

Oops! The ATV quit running about a mile out along the coast. Now what should we do? We discuss our options. What is the safest thing to do? Who should decide? Do you think we agree? Is it OK to split up the team and have some of us walk back to the field camp to look for tools? What precautions should we take?

Rusty and Scott follow the suggestions they learned in the training at McMurdo. They check spark plugs and the oil. They check the fuel line. The women hike back to the field camp

the ATV gets fixed - It needed more oil. It needed the oil chamber to be filled to the top. This done, it worked like a dream. We diligently work to collect samples from the last grid.

We made it back as the weather started getting bad. We are all relieved to be back with the ATV parked. We are to leave tomorrow, but the weather looks ominous and it started snowing. For the evening, we enjoy each others company and watch a movie on the computer.

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