2 March, 2001
-066 23 Lat / 76 32 E Long
As I said in yesterday's entry there are many distractions from our work here on the ship. Since we had crossed the Antarctic Circle several times there had been talk of King Neptune visiting. Apparently it is a tradition that whenever you cross a major circle of latitude; Arctic, Antarctic and especially the equator, those who haven't crossed it before are asked to appear before King Neptune at his court (who is king Neptune? Do a search and find out). For weeks during the transit over to the Prydz Bay area emails would appear telling of things to do to appease Neptune for "our transgressions" (in our case crossing the circle without permission). One thing you should never do is get King Neptune mad. So we wrote pomes and stories of our voyage adventures hoping to make him smile. And when there was a chance to gain favor from the king by finding his flag, Meredith and Kathleen two of the students took up the challenge searching high and low for king Neptune's flag. They looked everywhere, in every cupboard, drawer first aid kit and box. There wasn't any part of our science labs that they didn't go through including looking in all the samples in the cooler (see picture). At one point when they had looked everywhere else they threw an entire box of red core caps out (each about the size of a bowl) looking to see if it was hidden at the bottom. I only wish I had taken video as well as pictures but I was laughing too hard. Finally they were successful: they found the flag hidden in an archive box. An archive box is a clear plastic box that we use to preserve sections of the Kasten cores for later study or, in this case, to hold King Neptune's flag. The day before we were to visit Davis station King Neptune invited us to a party. The Computer Network Administrator, Robbie Liben, was our great and noble king. The people who hadn't crossed the circle came to his court with poems, songs, stories, and music for the visiting king as well as for the rest of us who had crossed before. Everyone had to come with his or her clothes on inside out so everyone looked very funny. It was great fun for all, especially knowing the next day we were finally going to make it to shore and that we had the day off.
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