29 October, 1996
Last night some weather moved in from the coast. The winds were blowing from the north and we got a dusting of snow. Here cold winds originate from the south and warmer moist winds from the north, just the opposite from New England. Visibility had dropped to about one quarter mile; I couldn't see the dive hut from camp. There was a drastic change in temperature; it got up to 12oF, which seemed a bit like summer. At 8:30 I was completely exhausted and laid down on my cot for a while. I woke up at 1:00 am and the temperature had dropped to -10oF.
Everything seems to take a longer to accomplish here. Jim enjoys cooking and prides himself on his abilities. He put together a great meal using the ground beef that I brought in when I arrived. In general, everything he does he does well.
Last night Chris was sick. Between diving and his other activities he expends lots of energy and compensates by consuming enormous amounts of food. He felt something he had eaten got to him. It was his turn to empty the honey bucket but since he wasn't feeling well, I said I would do it. When the outhouse box is full, its contents must be bagged, tagged, and flown back to McMurdo for processing. It's not a pleasant job but the Antarctic Convention prohibits adding foreign substances to the environment. I asked Jim where the contents should be placed, when he told me, I thought it strange that it was in a container where the frozen meat I brought in for last nights supper was stored. When I arrived the day before, I left the food supply next to the hut door. I didn't realize that Jim had replaced the meat in the original container with the spoiled meat and left it next to the other things that needed to be flown back to McMurdo for disposal. I had given Chris a pound of spoiled meat for supper. Now I understand why Chris was sick and you understand why I am happy to be a vegetarian.
In the afternoon Gamini and I went to an iceberg about three quarters of a mile onto the sea ice. Most Antarctic glaciers discharge directly into the sea where the ice breaks into icebergs. Erebus Glacier enters McMurdo Sound off the Coast of Ross Island and the region is littered with numerous icebergs that have frozen into the sea ice. Many are large enough to last for several years before melting. Approximately 80 percent of an iceberg is underwater. The block of ice that I am standing on in the picture was about ten feet above the top of the sea ice that was also about ten feet thick. That would mean the iceberg is 100 feet thick!
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