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6 November, 2002

Not so happy a camper

This ITASE log was written by Jim Laatsc. For this season we are cooperating on writing the journal entries for the Boston Museum of science site. It is fun to have a teamate to write the journals with. Once in the deep field we will take turns calling the journals in over ur Iridium phone.

Date: 11/06/02

Latitude: 77 degrees, 51 minutes south

Longitude: 166 degrees 40 minutes East

Temperature: -8 C / +18 F

Wind speed: 5 Knots

Wind Chill: -11 C / +12 F

Wind direction: North

Meters of ice collected: 0

Notes on daily life: This morning brought varied experiences to the ITASE members. Susan Kaspari awoke this morning for her first day back on the ice and had to set to work right away preparing for the expedition. She then joined Dan for a thorough refresher on Antarctic survival and safety. A number of the other ITASE members arrived in Christchurch, New Zealand this morning and we are eagerly looking forward to their arrival on The

Continent on Friday. Betsy and Jim had the most uniquely Antarctic of mornings.

The two of them awoke huddled inside their snow cave after making it through the frigid Antarctic night. Betsy woke with a pleasant smile, wrapped in the warmth of her sleeping bag, while Jim greeted the morning shivering and huddled amongst the frozen clothes in the bottom of his bag. Jim was puzzled also puzzled by BetsyĂs robust morning smile while he kept feeling the pesky tingling of snow falling directly onto his face, at least until he looked up and noticed the ventilation hole positioned directly above him. Before the two team members could discuss their experiences with each other they struck camp and headed tothe instructors hut for a debriefing. The happy campers were asked to mention what they appreciated or learned the most in between sips of hot chocolate. One person pointed out that they really appreciated how surprisingly warm the fleece sleeping bag liners kept them. "Fleece liner?" interrupted Jim. "What are you guys talking about?" Apparently Jim's sleeping kit was devoid of one of the warmest pieces. "I had no idea there was supposed to be a fleece liner included, I guess that's why everyone else is so chipper this morning?" Jim quipped. Acting on the false assumption that everyone else was as miserably cold as him in their sleeping bags, he kept his mouth shut so as not to appear to be whining. The instructors used this as an example of how important it is to be forthright about your condition in an extreme situation, at which point Jim asked for more cocoa. Overall the second day of snow school found a group closely bonded and full of the confidence gained by passing a difficult test. This confidence and training was quickly challenged by the instructors though as they began dictating various survival scenarios. The groups of snow school pupils were forced to draw on the knowledge and teamwork they had just developed to demonstrate their competence. The most difficult of these scenarios involved planning how to find a lost teammate that had wandered away in a whiteout. To complete the scenarios the instructors handed each person an opaque bucket to put over their heads, hence creating a roped attached, nine- man, bucket-headed, monster flailing across the ice. However, by working together and sticking to plan all the last teammates were ˘saved.÷ On the way back ˘home÷ to McMurdo the campers basked in the warmth of newfound friendships and a truly fulfilling sense of accomplishment. That warm feelin of success was quickly supplemented by a new appreciation for the luxurious hot showers and meals of Mac-town. The coming morning promises to bring a little less excitement and a little more work as we get back to the task of finalizing the logistics for the traverse.


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