7 November, 1996

This morning I went and learned how to drive the track vehicle that our group will use while we are working out of McMurdo. The vehicles are called "Sprytes" and they are really easy to drive but also pretty fun. Later we got to so out onteh sea ice and actually take our first core! The algal blooms can be pretty variable around McMurdo Sound due to lots of things such as snow cover, under ice currents and light. So the first few weeks are just going to be experimental in the sense that we are going to be going to many different sites looking to see how thick the ice is and where the algae are growing. You can tell they are there because there is a distinct brown band where they are living in the brine channels of the ice.

After we were done working on the cores, we decided to go to the Erebus Ice Caves since we were really close. This was definitely the highlight of the trip so far! The ice caves are amazing! We had to crawl in to them through a hole just big enough to fit your body in laying down--you had to slide in on your belly and then once inside, it was spectacular--ice crystals hanging from the ceiling, and there are all these nooks and crannies to explore and the light is so strange in there, it is a bluish purple grey. I just can't describe how neat it was.

I hope all the things i do here are as neat as today!


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