10 November, 2001
It is well past midnight and I have only just completed packing for my Antarctic experience. While I was packing, I kept thinking about an interesting coincidence that occurred only a few hours before. A few hundred feet from where I grew up, lives a man named Harry Derr, Jr. Harry was in the Navy during the 1950's and parcticipated in operation Deep Freeze II. The purpose of this operation was to construct two science bases in McMurdo Sound, close to where McMurdo Station is currently operating. Harry was kind enough to invite me to his home in order to talk about his Antarctic experience. In addition to sharing an incredible story, he also had a large collection of color slides. My favorite slide depicted how harsh an environment Antarctica can be. The Navy boat Harry was on was damaged by an iceburg, allowing water to enter the hull. This potentially dangerous problem was solved by hanging two bulldozers from the side of the ship, causing the boat to pitch 15 degrees. This creative technique allowed the hole to be patched and the operation to resume. All of the slides and stories were equally interesting, and I owe Harry a big thank you for sharing them with me. Now it is time to leave for the airport so my adventure can begin. Next stop...New Zealand!
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