23 January, 2000
It is Sunday, the "weekend." The galley floor was stripped and received several new coats of wax. Most people spent the day
relaxing and staying warm. The weather has been the topic of conversation all day. Several storm patterns appeared on the weather watch screen and prospects were not good for any long-term outdoor activities. I volunteered to help Dan Lubin retrieve his science equipment from Outcast and Janus Islands. It took two boats and 7 people to pull this off.
We geared up and left station, headed for Outcast Island. With weather patterns questionable, it was decided we would head out to Outcast Island first. Rob Edwards lead the team to Outcast and it was obvious to all that the boat could not moor, as the swell was too strong. Rob nudged the boat up close to the rocks and Dan Lubin, Tom Cohenour and I jumped out. Dan "Sparky" Weistblatt navigated the second boat carrying Kay Lawson, and Will Silva. They jumped out and the two boats stood off shore while we went up to dismantle the equipment.
Several electronic components, 3 heavy batteries, cable, metal framework, and storage box had to be collected, wrapped for
protection during transport, and hauled to the jump off site. Once everything was at the loading site, Rob and Dan loaded people, and then the equipment was loaded. I mention this is great detail
because I was impressed by the scene that just took place. The sea swells were rapid and unpredictable, the rocks were slippery, the
wind was gusting, snow was falling, and everything went off without a hitch.
We returned to station to unload before venturing out to Janus Island. On the way in, we were surrounded by ice that had blown in. It wasn't anything like the "Endurance" mind you, but it was the thickest ice I had seen yet! We were forced to move through it at a slow careful pace.
Weather made a change for the worst and we decided to put Janus off until later. An hour wait turned into 3 hours. After it was decided we could attempt another run, we loaded up and quickly retrieved the equipment from Janus. Again, the boats had to stand down shore to prevent being beat up on the rocks. An hour and half later, cold, wet, and tired we shuffled up to the galley for hot coffee and hot cocoa! What a day!
I was offered the opportunity to camp out in Norm Lavoie's "summer cottage." He has a tent (as many people here do) perfectly nestled among rocks with a wonderful view of the sea. I signed out on the board "Mimi ------Backyard -------time out: 2400 ------time in: 0800." Now that I was accounted for I set out to the tent. Once inside I hunkered down and had a nice warm rest. As I drifted off to sleep I enjoyed the sounds of the Antarctic winds and rain. A few times I was treated to the rumbling sounds of the glacier calving. I went to sleep peacefully and content....outside in Antarctica!
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