21 October, 1996

Each day I seem to get a little further behind with my journal entries and web site. McMurdo is East of the International Date Line, which means we are one day ahead of the US. It also means I can get one day behind in my entries and nobody in the US would know. The problem is I'm almost two days behind!

Its 11:30 PM and the sun is still shining brightly. Tonight it will go below the mountains after 1:00 AM and will rise again at 2:00 AM. It's the last night the sun will go below the horizon for about four months. It's a very spectacular time because it makes the mountains to the Northeast have a pinkish tint. I enjoy looking at the mountains at different times of the day, as the position of the sun in the sky changes; the shadows continually change their character. The light does crazy things and mirages are very common. When you look out on the sea ice you can see a line of what looks like open water and sometimes an iceberg in the sea ice. This type of mirage is actually a reflection of the sky or an object below the horizon from warmer air near the sea ice. The temperature of the water under the ice is 28oF while the temperature of the air above is often -20o F or lower. When the light enters this interface at a very steep angle it is totally internally reflected, which means its direction of travel changes from going down to going back up. Its similar to what happens when light strikes a mirror and it makes objects appear to be where they aren't.

Jenni is the only woman in our group; I've included a few pictures of her. She always has a happy smile and watches out for everyone. She has a special way of telling you when there is a better way to do a task without bruising your ego. That's a talent that seems to be common to many of the people here. They realize itís more productive to interact without blame or criticism.

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