15 October, 1998
Boy did I get a good nights sleep last night. I got up this morning after sleeping nine hours. I really needed that. The whole day was a bit relaxing. We did not do a whole lot. This morning I met with my lab partner to discuss the research I am starting on Saturday. We went down the hill to the old old aquarium to select the fish for my study. After counting the fish left I realized that I am going to have to do more fishing. I have enough fish to stat my eperiments but not enough to finish them nor does it leave enough fish for some of the other research that other people in the lab need to do.
We bring the fish from the old aquarium to the new aquarium because there is more room to conduct our research. The old aquarium is about one third the size of the new aquarium and not as well equipped with the instrumentation I need. I cannot start the research today because they need a couple of days to adjust to their new environment and to recover from the shock of being moved.
The experiment I am going to be conducting requires that I remove a small amount of blood (2ml) from the tail of the fish. So that the fish do not feel any pain I anesthetize them before I remove the blood. I then test the blood for salt content, specifically for sodium and potassium ions and the total osmolality of the blood. I will then inject them with small doses of a thyrodi hormone and a hormone called thiourea. Ultimately I am trying to determine the role of the thyroid in controlling the salt content of the blood.
That was my morning.
After lunch I had some down time so I climbed the hill behind McMurdo called Ob Hill. At the top there is a cross dedicated to the men that died in Scott's expedition to the South Pole in 1911 when everyone died on their return from the South Pole. From the top of this hill I could see the volcano Mt. Erebus. It is an active volcano surrounded by a sea of ice and snow. When I first climbed up the hill I could see that the clouds were receding so I waited to take a picture until it was totally uncovered. It too twenty minutes to totally uncover and while I watched before I could get a picture taken it had covered back up. It was amazing to see the clouds move so fast.
After my climb I came back and checked my e-mail. I have to share the poem y father sent me. I told him of the encounter with the seal and this was his reply:
Although there are no polar bears
To seek you for a prey,
And penguins are scarcely known
A grown up man to slay.
Still in that cold and icy land
A hazard I would reveal.
Be very careful you don't get slapped
In a hole by an irate seal.
I thought that was a nice tale to share.
After dinner we (our research group) decided it would be a good idea if we tried to get more fish in tonight and since we can't fish from the holes where we have the traps in (the traps have to stay down for at least two days)we took a "JiffyDrll" out with us. A Jiffy Drill drills one foot diameter holes. Four of us took the snowmobiles and went out about a half mile on the sea ice to drill some fishing holes. For about an hour we messed with the drill and could get it running for only one hole. We drilled down about eight feet and never did get to water so we moved to another location. I pulled the cord on the drill to start it and the cord broke. That ended our fishing expedition for the day. We all gave up, joked, and headed in to call it a day. That is it for today. Tomorrow should be an exciting day. We are going on a long snowmobile trip out to the ice edge about an hour drive from here. We will attempt to bring back more fish and hopefully see some penguins which I have not yet seen.
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