23 November, 1996

November 23rd, 1996

Camp Put In

We flew out of McMurdo this morning on a "Kiwi" (New Zealand) helo. We flew in the hewy with half of our equipment. (the other half was in a sling load underneath an A-star, a small Hewy helo). They dropped us off at Ferrel after a half hour ride. We unloaded our stuff and then we actually laid on top of it so it wouldn't blow away as they took off. The helo didn't even stop it's engines. The sling load was dropped at the same time.

Our first priority was establishing shelter. Even though the weather was beautiful (in the teens, sunny, and still), it was important to put up our tents. We first put up the Scott Tent which acts as our common room. In it we have our radio, stove, some food and padding to sit on. We even have "crazy creek" chairs which have a back which is attached to the seat to sit on. We can cook in the tent as well. We then put up the lab tent which is a Scott tent with no liner or floor. If the weather is bad (blowing snow) we can put it up over the pits we dig. Until then it is out potty tent for solid waste. We use a trash can with a Styrofoam seat. We have a pee flag outside for liquid waste (we don't have to take it back with us if we use the flag). We then established radio coms with "MacOps". We will check in each morning at 8:15 am.

At lunch we started one of our most important tasks for the day, using a Coleman stove to melt our water to drink. Lunch took us a while. We sat and talked while waiting for the water. After lunch we started on our sleeping tents. We sleep two to a tent. The mountain tents we use (complete with the mosquito netting on the doors) are set up behind snow walls. We quarry our blocks from behind the wall so that the tents are actually sunk into the snow. In our sleeping tents we each have an ensolit foam pad, a thermorest pad, a "mummy" style sleeping bag and a polartech liner. We keep most of our stuff at the cargo tent, so we have plenty of room. All of our supplies are set up in a line so that in high winds they are protected and won't drift over.

Afterward we had a really nice dinner of shrimp and scallop stir fry over rice. The day was long and hard, so we turned in shortly after dinner.

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