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30 November, 2000

FYI answer for 11/29/00

You cannot just build a structure in Antarctica. All Antarctica ice is moving and unstable. Buildings also can sink into the ice. Winds blow large amounts of snow that accumulates in drifts, and the weight can eventually collapse the structure.

Katsu had to get some data loggers out on seals and cameras also. With only two weeks, at most, before we will have to move in from our location, he wants to gather as much data on the seals as possible. Most of our seals have been at Big Razorback Island. Now he would like to concentrate on Turks Head seals. The population is larger and he hypothsises that the depths are deeper in that area.

We started with a female that I feel has been the most difficut to attach. She never took to the sleeping inhalent, so she did a lot of moving and she rolled a lot. The bad part about rolling is that is gets snow in the epoxy before it dries and it smashes the straps down. It took us twice as long to do this seal as any other before. Gifford and I had epoxy all over our clothes, and she was a very heavy seal when she'd roll on us. We did one more attachment and then a count of the animals at Turks Head. We had to retag one female who had one missing tag and a male and female who had no tags. I tagged them all after Katsu's hand was injured by the first female today.

The last duty for today was to start measuring depths of the water under the ice around Turks Head. We used exsisting cracks and seal holes and set up a tripod that we run a heavy lead weight and a camera to the rope. Once it is dropped, the rope unwinds off the spool until it reaches the sea floor. The amount of rope that went through the gauge counted off the meters. Our first depth was 342 meters. That is how deep that spot of the sea is. Then we used team work to pull therope up and wind it back on the spool. We did three depth tests today. The second drop was 356 meters and the third was over 360 meters.

With the sunshine of the last two days, I learned an important but painful lesson. I had been using plenty of sunscreen, but not enough lip protection. By the time I returned to our huts at the end of the day, I had some blisters on my lower lip. It is a combination of sunburn and windburn. Ouch!


There are over _____ permanent bases in the Antarctica region, although there are many more abandoned or temporary huts and stations. Each summer over __________ people live at these places. In the winter, the human Antarctic population _______ to around _______.

Two Adelie penguin tracks in the snow

I am in an ice block pile-up

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