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10 December, 2000

FYI answer for 12/09/00

Female Weddell mothers can lose up to 400 pounds of blubber fat in a season because it transfers to milk that the pup nurses to grow its own blubber. The mother also is able to distinguish her pup's cries from birth.

The Sunday morning brunch in McMurdo has always been a great buffet of good breakfast food. I tried to sleep in, but it never seems to work around here. I went to have brunch and finished my laundry, which is like using a laundromat. I packed everything up very quickly and we headed back to Big Razorback. Heather, our assistant from the first of the season, joined us for the afternoon duties. She was glad to have the chance to go back out to camp. Gifford, Katsu, and I had work to get done.

The first thing we did was head to Turks Head again, looking for the one female we needed an instrument from. She wasn't found. We returned to Big Razorback and had a detachment there and an attachment too. I used the black head bag to catch the female adult. We had trouble with her when we attached the instruemtn, and it looked as though it was going to happen again. She wanted to keep rolling. The rather large mother seal knocked me down twice. I was not fast enough at one point to keep from getting a leg under her, but I was fine and pulled out quickly by Heather and Gifford. Katsu was controlling her from trying to snap. I think wrestling moves might help the next person coming down here to help.

We made two pup attachments at Big Razorback after finishing our catch. Meanwhile, Mike had returned from McMurdo with a couple of visitors. He asked us to join them when they finished a couple of small tours around camp. We all ended up going to Cape Royds again, the Adelie penguin rookery and Shackelton's hut. We still had no key to get into the hut. It was still a great ime. Mike also led us to a frozen lake that was in a valley. It always has ice on it. Mike then went back into McMurdo, where the rest of the census crew had stayed for another night. Katsu, Gifford and I stayed at Big Razorback.


McMurdo is not only the ______________ U.S. research station in Antarctica, it is also the biggest _______ on the continent. It was originally named ___________ ________ Facility McMurdo. It was renamed McMurdo Station in 1961.

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