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15 September, 2001

Home Sweet Home

My 3rd day aboard the Polarstern was short. After awakening to a breakfast of crepes and jam, I set off to make myself useful. I wandered down into the petrology (rock) lab and found a job that I could do for several hours. There was glass to be cleaned and the best pieces picked for chemical analysis. While I was doing this, I was notified that in 15 minutes, a helicopter >from the Healy was coming to get Paul and me. We ran off to pack our bags and thank everyone. The chief scientist on the Polarstern gave us t-shirts and we were whisked off into the white yonder. Five minutes later when we safely landed on the Healy.

Since the Healy and Polarstern (for strange reasons) have a 5-hour time difference, it was only 2:00pm when we left, but 9:00am when we arrived back "home". This meant that I still had a full day of work ahead of me! There was a bright side, though-today was a special morale day. It marked the halfway point for the crew on their entire journey. There was a pudding-eating contest in which each parcticipant attempted to down 7 pounds of the flavor of their choice. Many followed the contest by drinking raw eggs, and then had to leave the premise. The beard-growing contest ended with several winners today as well. Then there was a steak dinner followed by price specialty coffee and movie night-a double feature in the helicopter hanger. Unfortunately I managed to stay awake through only through dinner.

Although the crew celebrated their halfway mark today, the scientists are well beyond that point for our expedition. We will leave the area in approximately shortly and head for the open waters towards land after our long journey at sea.

Some members of the science party joined the crew in the festivities. Here Kevin Wheeler gives it his best effort

Coast Guard crewmember Menard prepares to ingest his pudding.

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