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13 October, 1999

Hi Folks.

Things are getting pretty hectic in my life at this moment. I'm trying to: maintain my three classes at school; make contact with people like yourselves (I now have 106 people and or schools that are receiving these journal); put together plans for my substitute; working on two computers; trying practice using a digital camera; setting up for a practice run with a Cu-See-Me conference with eight people from all across the USA (I am going to attempt at least two Cu-See-Me, video conferences, from Antarctica) [more on this later]; oh ya, then there are those little things like packing, trying to pay bills two months ahead, getting registrations for my vehicles before they year ends, thinking (no action only thoughts about what to do about Xmas a holiday which has always been an immense part of my family's life. Wow I best get to work.

Last journal entry I mentioned I would be going to McMurdo Sound and that I would give you some in site as to what I will find there. By the way, this is the same McMurdo Station that the two LC-130 ski-equipped planes landed in this AM on their way to the Pole to hopefully evacuate Dr. Jeri Nielsen. She is the lady that was discovered to have a major physical problem last July and they are finally going to try to get her out today. Many people have asked me why such a delay. The answer is simple "Mother Nature" is the boss in Antarctica. That is one on the reasons I have fallen in love with the place. We, even with all our technology, still can't due much when about it when Mother Nature sets the rules for playing the game of life/death . Dark for 24 hours/day and the temperatures are dropping to 70 F; 30 knot winds and the weather that is "iffy"  at best.

McMurdo Sound is the main US research station in Antarctica. It is located at 77 51'S, 16640'E, can 't get much further south. This is about 3864 km (2415 miles) south of Christchurch New Zealand. Actually South Pole, the real bottom of the world, is still about another 1360 km south of here. Anybody know how many miles that is?? Hint. Use the miles and kilometer from NZ to set up a conversion factor and figure it out. Metric conversions are important. Just about three weeks ago a spacecraft set to land on Mars was destroyed because, someone forgot to change metric to English measure or vice versa in one of his calculation, this lead directly to the destruction of a multimillion dollar spacecraft plus the shattering of many people's dreams. Oh well, maybe that old science teacher new what he was talking about.

"MacTown"  ( McMurdo Station ) was originally built in 1956 and has been modernized, the most recent being the building of the Albert P. Crary Science and Education Center which opened in 1994.

The annual mean temperature at McMurdo Station is -18C (about 8C in the austral summer and about -50C in the austral winter). The wind averages about 12 knots (How about it? How many MPH?) with frequent gusts in excess of 100 knots.

With these numbers in mind and the fact that I 'm too tired to type any more; I am going to attach a list of the required clothing for the various stations and jobs in Antarctica. This is known as ECW (Extreme Cold Weather Gear), and is supplied by ASA. In fact, before you deploy for the Ice you must give them an idea of all your sizes, and then the day you arrive in Christchurch, before you board the LC130 for McTown, you must try on all clothing to make sure it fits. No Wal-Mart's here.

Till my next journal have a great day.

Penguin Pete the Polar Man

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