21 November, 1997

Friday dawns with a little to no wind and the sun shining brightly in its beautiful blue sky. The weather can change quickly here but the beauty of the continent shows through no matter what the sky is like. The quiet that descends the area is in itself magnificent. Tent city in the camp is starting to grow with more and more people being added to daily. Many of them will be working near the drill rig that is going up just outside the camp.

A large drill rig is scheduled to start drilliing sometime in December. This drill is scheduled to drill to bed rock before the end of the season in February. It will have drilled about 1000 meters at this point. The people from ASA and PICO have the drill rig up and a tunnel built into the earth. The tunnel (trench) is being prepared to store the core in. It consists of a two story trench built from ice blocks. The top layer will contain some of the blocks which will be covered with snow to insulate the bottom layer containing the core. The temperature half way up the top layer should stay at -19 degrees celsius. The drill will not be running until after I have left Siple Dome but it is a sight that I would love to be able to watch working.

The drillers from PICO obtained the core for Dr. Albertís project. They were Rhonda Ecker, Ken Jessen and Jerome Brown. They worked a drill called the side winder to obtain a near 20 meter set of cores. They later drilled core for Dr. Joe McConnell using a second 4 inch drill to do 70 meters of core. The drills have a casing that allows the core to be stored in it and brought up a meter at a time as they drill it.

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