30 October, 1998
Today is the last Friday I will ever spend in Antarctica. I am really going to miss this place. I have seen so much of the area and yet there is so much more to learn about. I can see why the early explorers like Shackelton and Scott were driven to go beyond the normal endurance of man. As I have probably said before there is something magical about Antarctica. I hope it will always remain unexploited and mystical. I have only one regret as I prepare to leave and it is that I will not have a chance to see an emperor penguin but I have seen so much anyway. I can hardly wait until I get home to share it. Oh well enough rambling.
Today was much like the other lab days. I spent all morning and afternoon working in the lab. The evening however was spent fishing out at Cape Evans. We got back or rather I got back about 1 o'clock am. I drove the sprite again.
Doing the research on the fish has been very interesting. It is interesting to note that so many of the same chemicals like hormones in fish are similar to those in humans. In parcticular we are looking at what role T3 and T4 thyroid hormones play in the osmoregulation of fish (control of salt concentration). The same two hormones in humans has a role in memory. There was a study done here last year on the effect that wintering-over has on a person's memory.
The experiment seems to be going well. Tomorrow I will extract the gills from the fish for ATPase analysis. This part will be done back at Creighton University. My part of the experiment will be completed on Monday.
The fishing trip went well. We brought back 20 fish. That was pretty good considering that we only fished about an hour and there were only three of us. The trip in the sprite was not much fun this time. I drove a different sprite and it did not seem to drive as well as the other one even though it was newer. It was also very loud. I really needed to have a pair of earplugs. On the trip back there was a single seal alongside the route so I stopped and looked at it. He had apparently been in a fight with another male. You could tell he was the loser in the fight. He was wounded and bleeding. As I walked over to hime he seemed to have such a wounded expression. He was moaning from the wound and would roll his head back and forth as if he was asking me for help. He rolled over on his side as if to show me the wounds and then rolled back over and laid his head on the ice and just started breathing heavy. I felt sorry for the poor thing but that is the way of nature and wildlife.
That ends another day. There are not many left. Bye for now.
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