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16 December, 2001

I was originally scheduled to depart the South Pole on December 13. However, due to a severe weather system settling in over McMurdo Station, all flights have been cancelled indefinitely. The problem is with the 100 knot winds that are accompanying the system. These winds are depositing large snow drifts on the Pegasus runway at McMurdo Station, preventing any aircraft from landing or taking off.

As each day passes, and the flights consistantly get cancelled, my hopes of returning home for the holiday are beginning to look unlikely. My departure from the South Pole is out of my hands, so I have to make the best use of my time here. It seems as though most people that are stranded subscribe to one of two philosophies. The first philosophy is shut down, complain a lot, and let depression set in. The second philosophy is to immerse yourself in work so that your mind is distracted. I selected the second option.

Since it was Sunday, I decided to take it easy. I worked a little in the SPASE Shack continuing to moniter the freezing of the water in the tank. Also, I continued to collect data from the optical modules in an attempt to determine which voltage was optimal.

After dinner, I repacked my bags for the scheduled flight to McMurdo. However, halfway through the chore, the public address system announced that all flights were cancelled. Since I did not have to worry about departing the South Pole in the morning, I disgarded my packing and instead heading back out to the SPASE Shack. I needed to distract my mind...

Biological Data

Saturated Oxygen: 95 %

Pulse: 85

Weather Data

Temperature: -21.6 F

Wind Chill: -43.5 F

Jason Petula working with the instrumentation in the SPASE Shack.

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