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21 October, 2003

Another Balloon Recovery

We took the helicopter out to the base of Mt. Terror with our mountaineer guide Susan. We were drawn there by the emergency beacon on board the instrument. We circled around the area for almost an hour without any luck. The signal would get strong, we would descend and the signal would be lost. So we went on the hunch that the mountain was reflecting the signal, and went a few miles south. Then we heard a loud pinging sound and descended to the ice shelf. Our guide told us the ice was safe, and we took another hour to walk around until we located it about a mile away using our L-pers. It was a very beautiful day, the warmest in two months. On the flight back in we could see Mt. Erebus smoking in the distance, the day before it had been ejecting lava bombs. A wonderful day to be on the ice! Yesterday's balloon fell exactly where we predicted so now we have only two balloons left to pick up and we are done.

Tonight I watched Winged Migration in the coffee house. One of the researchers here specializes in Snow Geese and her geese were in the film. She gave a wonderful lecture the night before. And told us that some geese she actually eats, but not the ones she has spent month's training!

The parachute on this recovery was still intact.

Our experienced pilot, Ken

Dr. Jennifer Mercer

Mt. Erebus, a small plume is always present at the top. It is an active volcano.

Loading the helicopter for the trip back.

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