14 November, 1998

Saturday, November 14, 1998

Hi! I wanted to start off today by telling you a little about Crary Lab. This state-of-the-art science lab was named after Albert P. Crary, who was a geophysicist and glaciologist. He was also the first man to visit both the North Pole and the South Pole. Crary Lab houses the workspace for studies in biology, earth science, and atmospheric science. It also has a darkroom, freezers for processing ice cores, a library and computer area upstairs, a meeting room, an aquarium area that is filled with the marine life of McMurdo Sound, an electronics workshop, and a seismic observatory that monitors Mt. Erebus. This is quite a place!

The name of the street in front of Crary Lab is "Beeker Street." Scientists are referred to as "beakers" but the spelling comes from a clever pun of a street name in New York City. All of us who work at Crary Lab have card keys that get us into the building and into our labs/offices. This building was completed in 1991. Next weekend the Cape Roberts Project is offering tours of our section of Crary Lab and we will be showing off our work from this season.

Today's core was a bit of a problem…we had from 215.73 through 227.80 to view and sample, but several boxes of core were inadvertently left out at the drill site, and will be sent in tonight. The core today contained abundant macrofossils (fossils we CAN see easily), and was sandy with some other characteristics mixed in. The scientists of the Cape Roberts Project are still wondering whether we are looking at sediments from the Oligicene period… which would be about 25 million years ago-give or take 5 million years…or whether we have moved into another period.

Our daily meeting was a short one…main disucssion seemed to focus on the "Skirt" party tonight over at Scott Base (the New Zealand base). This is an annual event, destined to be attended by many of the Cape Roberts people this year. A lot of fashion planning was going into this evening! (More on that party later!) Peter Webb had written today's agenda down as follows:

10:00 AM Meeting

10:15-10:45 AM the drawing of the battle lines (viewing the core) 10:45 AM the staking of the claims (flagging our samples)

1:00 PM the fight begins (sampling will start taking place) 3:00 PM dress/skirt fittings

5:00 PM fashion parade

Of course, no one sticks to this schedule…it's impossible, but we take a stab at it each day. With many special visitors running around today, we didn't get to start sampling until about 2:30 PM. Fabio and I worked together as usual…drilling samples. I helped Gary out in the core sampling room by washing off trays as he finished putting core back in the boxes. I've felt right at home the past few weeks…doing the dishes! After drilling, I labeled all of the new samples and set them out to dry.

By then, it was dinner time and I needed to eat quickly and get ready for the party. Of course I didn't bring a SKIRT to McMurdo, and I hadn't found anyone to borrow one from. I also haven't had time to make one. But I know you are all going to wonder what I wore, so… I wore a flannel nightgown with a Chicago Bulls sweatshirt over it. It certainly wasn't the strangest outfit at the party!

Rosie, Cricket, Giuliana, and I took the shuttle to Scott Base at 8:30 PM. The assortment of people on the shuttle was pretty funny! Skirts of all sizes, shapes, lengths, and made from all sorts of materials….on both men and women. Lots of people wore wigs, make-up, etc….and those were the guys! Once we arrived at Scott Base I recognized (well, sort of) the New Zealand men from the Cape Roberts Project. All were pretty dolled up and looked GREAT! I have included a couple of photos! So, this is what scientists do in their spare time…some of them anyway!

There was lots of dancing and tons of photos! It was a great party! Giuliana and I took the 11:45 PM shuttle back to McMurdo (there was only 1 more shuttle tonight, and we were warned by the driver that she wouldn't have room for over 20 people). What a FUN night! Talk to you tomorrow.

Betty :)

Cricket, always with a flare for the dramatic...posing by the Scott Base sign before the party!

Hard to believe that these guys are serious scientists! We won't mention ANY names.

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