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27 November, 1999

Even with a raging storm outside the chores of living don’t stop. No one can do science, but meals must be cooked, water must be melted for drinking, equipment must be worked on, dishes washed.

For the six of us the hut is our survival. To be outside long would be dangerous. With the temperature around –30oC and with the wind at 35mph, our bodies cannot withstand the conditions for long. Even with out extreme weather gear on, we are not protected totally for long periods. The rules say no one goes out alone even in good weather, in bad it would be parcticularly dangerous. If caught out away from camp it is predicted we could survive the night if we could get out of the wind, but no one wants to test that theory.

So these days are spent entertaining ourselves inside the hut staying safe and warm. Playing cards, reading, writing in out journals, or cooking occupy our time while we wait out the storm. This is no place for people who don’t like each other. We are confined in a very small space, each person trying to do their own projects. On this day we just pass the time.

The “well” is just outside the hut, but with the storm going we need to dress in full gear just to go that far. Here Phil is collecting ice to bring in for melting into drinking water.

Nothing like a stormy day to make you want something out of the oven. Since I missed thanksgiving with my family this year, I decide to bake a pumpkin pie.

Card games are a good way to pass the time. Games of the day: Hearts and Rummy.

After dinner we watch a movie on the only computer with a DVD. It is hard watching, because there is no way to darken the room. Here even at midnight the sun is above the horizon and it seems like the middle of the day.

Phil also spends time working on his equipment, This machine will measure the gases coming out of the volcano by analyzing the light that comes through the plume.

Chas is the reader of the group.

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