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12 November, 2002

Packing for the field.

Written by Jim Laatsch. We are collaborating on our journals while on this traverse.

Date: 11/12/2002

Latitude: 77 degrees 51 minutes South

Longitude: 166 degrees 40 minutes East: Temperature: -12 C / +10 F

Wind speed: 14 knots

Wind Chill: -31 C/ -24 F

Wind direction: Northeast

Meters of ice collected: 0

Notes on daily life:

This morning started off with a quick birthday celebration for Eric Steig. Betsy was resourceful enough to have brought a birthday card for everyone to sign as well as candles to put

in a muffin she got from the galley (9:00 was a little too early for cake). We spent the next hour or so updating one another on what we had accomplished so far and what

each of us still needs done before we can fly out to Byrd Surface Camp to start the traverse. After the morning meeting

broke up it was back to our home away from home ? the science cargo yard. We were tasked with palletizing all of our cargo and packing loose ends into boxes. This

required moving and repacking a huge amount of material; but with everyone pitching in it went smoothly. After working all day in the cargo yard the team members

went separate ways to enjoy some of their last free time in McMurdo. Blue and Gordon caught up on the latest college football scores prompting a vigorous debate as

to whether Miami or Ohio State should be number one. Steve decided to be ambitious and went for a walk all the way across Ross Island to New Zealandís Scott Base,

a cold but enjoyable endeavor. For many others the evening offered a chance to e-mail home, do some reading, or catch up on laundry. The conversation topic of the

evening in the galley was the storm that might be blowing into McMurdo tomorrow. This is parcticularly of note to the ITASEíers because it could signal a delay in their planned departure date of Friday the 15th.

If the snows do come Jim and Betsy will probably be most directly effected. The duo is slated to head out to the Silvercity Icefall tomorrow for a course in glacier

travel and crevasse rescue, but to Jimís relief they arenít scheduled to spend the night out again. Thatís the buzz from Mac-

Town for now as everyone is eagerly awaiting Friday Ďs Herc ride out of town and into the field.

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