22 November, 1996

November 22, 1996

Today we went on a helicopter trip out to Dunlop Island on the western part of McMurdo Sound. When we left McMurdo it was pretty cold and windy so we weren't all that excited about being out coring for 7 hours but after a 45 minute helicopter ride the weather had changed dramatically and the day turned out to be close to the BEST so far! The helicopter dropped us off around 10 AM and wasn't scheduled to pick us up until 4:30. It was such a nice day that we didn't even have to wear our parkas at all and we were really lucky with all the machines---the jiffy drill worked fine and even though we were taking the bottom of the cores by hand, everything went super fast. We took 32 cores, 1 meter apart in a little under 2 hours! It was definitely a record for our group. So after we were done, we ate our sack lunches and decided to go exploring. We hiked to 2 icebergs that were trapped in the ice and were able to get up really close to them! They were huge and amazing in color---so many different shades of blue. There were also tons of seals around with their pups. We actually went around and counted them so we could report to the sealers how many there were out there in case they were interested in tagging them. We ended up counting 55 adults and 25 pups. Today was such a great day....another spectacular view of Antarctica!

Write more later. Jessica

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