28 November, 1997

Hi Everyone.

A special day today, MY BIRTHDAY. Awoke to a bright beautiful day, clear and calm, YES the helos are flying. Be out to civilzation around 10:00. I need a clean up. A seven day beard does not improve my appearance. I would frighten small children and probably a few bigger ones. Really listened for the Helo motors this time. In it came, we stopped for a minute at the Lake Fryxell camp to pick up the rest of the personal material and science equipment and then back for the 45 minute ride to McMurdo. We again had a nice pilot who would show me the sights,lots of seals sunning on the ice. I've still not seen a penguin yet. Mt. Erabus was puffing smoke and was really impresive in the clear sky. Landed, arrainged for my housing and quickly begain a general clean up. I hit the laundry first. I'm ashamed to say that I only had two pair of long underwear dirty in 7 days. Thats all I had. Paula told me that she had once worn a pair of jeans for three weeks straight. I understand now why. I washed everything I had and then washed me. I was nearly late to lunch because I did not want any of my McMurdo friends to see me like that. Kathy and I then started on the science unpacking. I had lots of water to prepare and filter. We worked most of the afternoon in the lab. After supper, had a little (non-science) activity going on. It was time for the annual" McMurdo Beach" party. I went only to broaden my educational experiences and it certainly did that allright. The gym was transformed into a beach scene and it was uaa fairly wild event. At midnight the navy seebees had chained sawed a hole in the ice and lots of people took the "Polar Plunge". I declined the opportunity to parcticipate. I don't see how they did it. It was

snowing pretty good with a real strong wind and the gym was at least 100 degrees inside. They did not stay in the water long and were right back inside. Made for an exciting evening though. Good way to end my birthday. I'm OK people, doing fine. See ya

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