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4 December, 2003

All dressed up and no place to go!

What do you do when you are ready, willing and able but the weather pulls the plug? You pull out the maps and review. Dr. Hammer called a meeting this afternoon to go over the original plan and look at possible changes that might have to be made when we get out there. Remember earlier, I mentioned that Dr. Hammer was cautioning folks at the Washington meeting that all plans were subject to change as soon as we got to Antarctica? Well we are being subjected to change.

The weather is playing cat and mouse with us, at first it appears to be clearing up, and then it socks in. A constant through all this has been the wind, slicing in at a pretty constant 20 KTS. Rearranging the snow drifts and making it hard to keep the ice runway in good shape, keeping many of us on tender-hooks with respect to when it will all end. At this point, we will be lucky to get out to the Beardmore Camp by Thursday, which puts us 3 days behind schedule. This means we may need to work in shifts on Kirkpatrick, where the Cryolophosaurus is, and we probably will be splitting off into recovery and recon teams too. Basically, we are Dr. Hammer's tools and he has to determine how best to use us because mounting an expedition to Antarctica costs millions of dollars, and when it is all said and done, regardless of weather, you had best have something to show for your efforts.

At the meeting this afternoon, Bill went over what the original plan entailed and then made comments on how it might have to change. He may be forced to reprioritize his goals depending on helicopter time and what he finds at the sites. Remember, there are other teams in the same boat, all fighting for the limited resources at this remote camp. We next spent some time looking at photographs of the previous trip to Kirkpatrick, so team members who were not familiar with the site could envision what the work would be like in order to be more prepared. So all we can do is sit, study and hope that we will be in one of those big Herc's out on the runway tomorrow. Soon winging our way over the mountains and up the snow covered valleys to the Beardmore Glacier.

Dr. Hammer's work session. From left to right:Standing, Peter Braddock, Nate Smith, Kevin Kruger, Dr. Hammer, Dr. Currie.

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