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29 November, 2000

FYI answer for 11/28/00

When faced with an emergency situation here in Antarctica, there are two simple rules that always apply: take whatever immediate actions are necessary to preserve life or prevent further injuries, and then stop and think things over before making any more moves. It is basically a "think before you act" policy.

It was a long and successful, sunny day. With so many days spent in McMurdo over the weekend and a few of the past week's days having such bad weather, it was time to catch up. There wasn't a cloud in the sky today. It is especially important on days like this to put on sunscreen first thing and keep it on. There wasn't much wind either. We needed this day and we got it.

It almost seemed like we came out of the cave after hibernating. We shoveled the places out that we needed access to. We had fuel delivered. The underwater camera has been out of service and the repair person came to fix it today. We also had a journalist from the McMurdo Antarctic Sun newspaper come out to talk to all of us about what we do. Both Jim, the camera repairman, and Josh, the journalist, stayed the entire day and went with us as we worked. We also had a team come out to check how our solar panels were working, and a gentleman came to check our power and generator situation. Lots of visitors.

The camera hole had some serious ice built up in it, and we had female seals at Big Razorback and Turks Head that had to be tagged. I got to put tags on about eight animals today. It went a lot easier this second time than my first where I had to chase her around, even when Mike had her head in a headbag to control her more. She was not willing to have someone touching here flippers. I did get through the eight seals. The camera was pretty frozen in the hole. By sharing time with the ice chiel, we were able to get the hole opened up; the camera was fixed and lowered back into its hole. Now I can really start looking at the seals underwater.


You cannot just __________ a structure in Antarctica. All Antarctica ice is moving and _______________. Buildings also can __________ into the ice. Winds blow large amounts of snow that accumulates in drifts and the weight can eventually _________________ the structure.

Just a camera-shy Weddell pup

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