16 November, 1997

Sunday Nov. 16

Still cold and windy but a condition 3 which in normal for this place. Sunday is a little different here. The support staff work a 9 hr day, six day week for 54 hour work load. Sundays seem to be the day off for most of the support staff. You are pretty much on your own. I came out of breakfast, saw a group loading up the big " TERRA" bus I asked where thay were going and they said the ice caves on the glacier and asked if I wanted to jump in with them and I did and had a great time. They were all Navy people who do work on the C-130 propeller driven planes, the only ones flying now. The propeller planes are smaller and slower and it will take 8 hours to get back to Christchurch when my time is up. The Ice Caves were beautiful, a little scary to enter them, you had to pretend that you were a seal and just slide head first down this little hole. I did it but thought strongly about it first. They open up into big spectular rooms hollowed out in the ice. Really impressive. Comming back we stopped at Scotts Base, New Zealand's Antarctic station. A nice place but lots smaller than McMurdo. I did learn today that I have been assigned to do my Helocopter training,(no I'm not going to fly the thing) Monday. I need to get safety checked so I can just ride in it. I should be in the air about an hour and a half going to the Dry Valleys. Also on Tuesday and Wednesday I go to snow survival school. I will have to dig a pit, cover it with snow and spend Tuesday night there. We will do it regardless of what the weather is. I hope that it is nice. Things going well, I'm fine.

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