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1 November, 1999

Christchurch New Zealand Monday

Deployment Day 1

We were scheduled to deploy this morning at 5:45 a.m.

4:00 a.m. The proprietor of our hotel, the Windsor, gently knocked on our door and told us to go back to sleep. The flight had been postponed until 8:45 a.m.

8:45 a.m. The Windsor announces that our flight to the ice is on a 24 hour delay. We are rescheduled to deploy on November 2 at 5:45 a.m.

Unfortunately, none of us had slept very well and we had little energy! I spent some time at the NSF Computer Center answering email and writing the journal for Oct. 31. Afterward, I walked around the Christchurch Botanic Gardens (second day in a row) and stopped for a reading break on a bench under an enormous pine tree. The next thing I knew, it was getting very cold, the sun was quite a bit lower in the sky and I was disoriented! I had fallen asleep for almost 2 hours! I told you we were tired!

We had a nice supper at Winnie Bagoes, a pizza place. I had a chicken, cranberries, and brie pizza. Strange, huh? It was delicious. All of the food we have had in Christchurch has been exceptional!

Because of our early morning deployment, we retired early for a good night's sleep.

Answer to yesterday's question: Amundsen and Scott, in their 1910 expeditions, were attempting to be the first to see the geographic South Pole. Amundsen, a Norwegian, was a detail-oriented, very organized person. He researched the current trends in polar gear, used them himself before his departure, and made changes in gear that he believed was necessary. Amundsen also relied heavily on dogs to pull the sledges of equipment and cross-country skis for human transportation. His companions were regarded with respect. Scott, from England, neglected to spend much time researching his equipment. He relied on the ability of ponies adapted for cold weather to pull the sledges. His ponies proved to be inefficient. They were too heavy and sank through the snow. All of them died or were sacrificed before the journey's end. Scott did not put much stock in the use of skis and so required little cross-country ski training for his companions on the expedition. They proved to be poor skiers. Amundsen and Scott both began their journeys from the Ross Sea. Scott's journey began very near McMurdo. In fact, the hut used by Scott's party still stands at Cape Evans. On December 14, 1911, Amundsen with 4 companions, reached the South Pole.

Amundsen reached his hut on the Ross Ice Shelf on January 24 and wrote,"...we reached our good little house again with two sledges and eleven dogs; men and animals all hale and hearty." Just seven days earlier, on January 17, 1912, Scott and his companions, E. Wilson, L. Oates,

E. Evans, and H. Bowers reached the pole only to find great disappointment having arrived 33 days after Amundsen. Their return to Ross Island was horrible. The party encountered poor weather conditions, for which they were ill-prepared and were running out of food. E. Evans died on February 17. Oates died a month later when he walked out of the tent in a blizzard, never to return. Scott wrote for the last time in his journal on March 29, 1912 hailing the bravery with which his men encountered the severe Antarctic conditions. Their bodies were found huddle in their tent not far from a supply depot that would have saved their lives. Scott's party contributed much to the understanding of Antarctic geology. This actually may have been a factor in their deaths. The men in Scott's party dragged a sledge with 16 kg of rock samples from various areas of the continent.

Today's question: How old are the rocks in East Antarctica? East Antarctica includes the Dry Valleys. How old are the rocks in West Antarctica?

Deployment Day 2 TOMORROW!!!!


JUST FOR KIDS!!!!! Today I was scheduled to leave for Antarctica but the weather was too windy. We were ready to go at 8:45 a.m. when they called us to say we were delayed for 24 hours. We were very disappointed.

I spent the day walking through the Botanic Gardens again and I fell asleep under a huge pine tree! We are all so excited that we have not been sleeping very much at night! I hope that the weather clears and we can land on the ice tomorrow!

Answer to yesterday's question: Roald Amundsen, from Norway and Robert Scott, from England were explorers trying to be the first to get to the South Pole. Amundsen and his team got there on December 14, 1911. Amundsen was very well prepared for his trip. Scott and his team did not arrive at the South Pole until January 17, 1912. On the trip back, Scott and his party died from starvation and exposure to the cold. They had not been as well prepared as Amundsen and his team. Scott's team did collect rocks that have given us very much information about the geology of Antarctica.

Today's Question: Antarctica is divided into East and West sides. How old are the rocks in East Antarctica? How old are the rocks in West Antarctica?

Perhaps I will get to fly to the ice TOMORROW!!!


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