20 July, 2001
The mosquitoes hit today. I had heard that they were the size of robins. It turned out they are the same size in Massachusetts, but there were swarms of them and I mean SWARMS!!!! It was hot with no wind. This was the warmest day since we arrived, I guess this was the reason for the mosquito arrival. I would rather have it cold and windy any day.
Amy, Victoria, and John filled many large bags with soil from site 026 Beach Ridge. We will be screening these bags in the next few days. We screened many bags when we first arrived in Wales. Beach Ridge is a long walk to water and my job today was to start carrying the bags over to the inlet where we will be doing the screening. I can thank Will and Jay, my friends in Massachusetts for their help in preparing me for this adventure. I thought of them as I carried bag after bag on extremely heavy dirt (we can call it soil, but when I was carrying it, it was dirt). Will and Jay set me up with an exercise program. I have been at it for a few months now working on strengthening and stamina. Will and Jay have their own workout business titles TRI-HARD CONDITIONING. One of my important goals was to be in the best shape of my life for this experience. It would not have been fun to feel sore and tired, just because I was not in shape. Thanks again, Will and Jay!
We are almost at level four over at TEL 079, and we are starting to find more and more artifacts. Many points were found, ivory pieces, part of an oar, and Amy found a spectacular piece of ivory that they used a long time ago to put through their mouths, almost like a piercing. They are called labrets. Because it was nice out today we worked an extra hour to try and make up some of the time lost the other day, when it was bad weather, or a typical day in the Bering Sea. I think we will also be working this Saturday. We only have 7-8 more excavating days left before we have to start wrapping up our work. We need to get down!!!! We need to go further down, but I am not sure how many levels. I do know there is a lot to be done. We will have to start preparing to send everything back to Anchorage after Friday. We have been cataloging at every level, but we also have to check and double check the work. It all then has to be packaged carefully before it is sent back.
Another skin boat (walrus) came over from Diomede today. There were seven people on board. It takes around one hour to get across. It looks a lot shorter than it really is. There are three currents as you travel across the Bering Strait. People have been traveling this way for many many years, but as I look across the strait, see how rough the waters can be, I can only think it is also very dangerous. The water is extremely cold as well. I have heard that a few years ago a boat went down with seven people on it. Any many of the people coming over are friends and relatives of the people living in Wales.
We have not been able to see Siberia for a few days because of the fog. Even though it was hot and sunny in Wales there was a fog across the water. The weather in this part of the world is very changeable. It seems to change many times every day. You can actually see the weather approaching and know what is on the way. We bring many layers of clothes with us out to the mound. One minute we are in tee shirts, the next layer upon layer of sweaters and jackets with rain gear. I was told that it sometimes rains so hard, it comes down almost sideways. Maria has the record so far with 9 layers of clothing. I have only been able to get up to six layers before I Can t Move!
We heard there was another reindeer roundup and they needed helpers. I can just picture myself wrestling a reindeer. I would put my money on the reindeer. It would probably be as exciting as WWF, but my match with the reindeer would be over in seconds with antlers on top.
I went to the IRA office today to put on 3 more journal entries. I will be glad at some point to be using my own computer and I will be putting on many more digital pictures. The people in the IRA office are very nice, helpful, and accommodating. I would be lost without their help. I would also have a tremendous amount of work to do if they did not let me use their computers. Anyway, it is 10:30 at night, the sun is shining bright, I think I shall take a walk on the beach. It is too bright to even think about going to sleep. Three tugboats pulling barges came through the Bering Strait today. This was the first time I saw barges; I do not know where they are going. There were also lots of seagulls in a small section way out in the water carrying on, really carrying on. I think there was a carcass of some kind and they were dining. It was very noticeable because of the amount of seagulls. I don t know what they were after though.
Well, quayana from Wales for tonight, please stay tuned and check out the site again. I use the computer to update every Monday and Thursday. Ethan
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