13 December, 1996
I joined a group today that was researching the adaptations of Antarctic fish to cold temperatures. One of their primary research interests has been the study of "antifreeze proteins" in the blood of these fish which lower the freezing point of their blood. Today I took part in two different fishing trips on the Ross Sea Ice looking for fish to be used in research. In the first case, we travelled by snowmobile to a fishing hut about a mile out on the ice. We used a net which was lowered through a hole in the ice to a depth of 150 meters. The other type of fishing we did was using a hook and line through a hole in the ice. We were able to catch four fish this way that could be used in the research. The fish are all kept in large tanks in a building near the edge of the ice runway. We had to exercise a certain amount of caution travelling across the ice at this time of year. There are several places where the ice is cracked, especially near the shore. I also helped in analyzing the blood proteins and enzymes from some of the fish using a spectrophotometer. On our own project we are still waiting for some optical filters that we need to align the instrument. We are hoping that they will arive by tonight so that we can finish our work here. Our group was invited to Scott Base, which is the New Zealand base near McMurdo. We had dinner and the Kiwi's who we work with showed us around the compound. We were able to watch seals on the nearby ice using a telescope.
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