9 November, 1997
Hi everyone, It has been a great day here on the ice. I am learning all kinds of neat things about Antarctica and all the science that is going on here. It is real strange to go to bed when the sun is still shining and then get up when it is still shining. This morning when I got up the wind was blowing really hard and I could not see any of the mountains or the sea ice from my window. I was able later to see the buildings below just before I got dressed to go outside. It is so cold from the wind that the people here must wear special heavy clothes to stay warm. They were long underware over their regular underware, then they put on a pair of pants and a shirt, then a jacket, then a pair of outer pants called wind pants then a really really heavy coat with a hood. Many of them wear hats under thier hoods and of course they wear several pairs of gloves sometimes to keep their hands warm. On their feet the wear wool socks and then big blue or white boots that look really hard to walk in. By the time they finish dressing - no one even knows who they are cause they all look alike. Can you imagine that they think all bears look alike and they dress like that? Boy am I ever glad that I am a bear!!!!! People keep saying that it is summer here and yet it this place is still covered in snow and ice. I wonder why the sun is still shining even when I go to bed? You may like to try this and maybe it will help you understand why down here is having summer and up there it is winter almost. Get a round balloon and blow it up. Have a big person tie it at its end so that it will stay blown up. Next take a marker and draw a line around the middle of the balloon both ways ( the long way around where you tied it and also around the center of the balloon). These lines are suppose to be the equator around the middle and the international date line from top to bottom. If you divide the balloon again around in the same direction as the equator so that you have two more lines on the top and two on the bottom, you will have a little globe of our earth. The line above the equator is called the tropic of Cancer and it is the closest point at which the sun gets in the Northern Hemisphere. The top line is the Arctic Circle and above this line the north gets very cold and often has much snow and ice year round. The lines on the bottom half of the globe are just like the Tropic of Capricorn and the Antarctic Circle. The Tropic of Capricorn is the farthest point south that the sun actually goes. Antarctica is below the Antarcic circle. The International Date Line is set so we know when a new day begins. For example if you live in California you are 21 hours behind the time that I am at on Antarcica. I live in a different day than you do. If you now get an adult or friend to help you, you will be able to see why it is always day light here right now. Get a flash light and turn it on. If you tip your balloon and shine the light on your equator and have a friend turn the balloon around while keeping it tipped you will see what happens when the earth moves about the sun. Don't forget to keep the light on the equator as you turn your globe.Return to E. Shackleton Bear's Page
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