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10 November, 2003

When your hut smells like a seal has followed you home from work, it's definitely time to head to McMurdo for showers and laundry. And so, we did. It was just like a trip to town anywhere-don't forget the laundry, bring in the trash and recycling, go out to lunch, and check the mail-only town is 22km away over a packed snow road on top of 3 meters of ice.

We returned to camp in the late afternoon, just in time to watch a storm descend upon us. The strongest gust we recorded on our weather station was 54mph. At first it was just blowing and then a snow squall moved in. The snow continued for a bit more than an hour, while the high winds gusted throughout the evening. It was a perfect time to stroll amongst our seal neighbors to see what they were doing during the storm. Most continued to do what they usually do-lie on the snow-covered ice and snore away as the blowing snow covered them with a fine coat of white. When you're insulated with 14 cm of blubber a brief snow squall is hardly an imposition!

Daily Haiku:

Our hut smells like seal

Is it clothes or new perfume

Time to do laundry

When you're well-insulated you can ignore a snow storm. This mother and pup were covered in snow.

This snow covered pup was waiting for its mother to get out of the water.

This seal stayed in the water during the storm. It's warmer than lying on the ice when the wind is howling at 54 mph.

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