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16 November, 2002

Antarctica from many perspectives.

Date: 11/16/02

Latitude: 77 degrees 51 minutes South

Longitude: 166 degrees 40 minutes East

Time of weather observation: 16:00 hours

Temperature: -03 C / +27F

Wind speed: 3 knots

Wind Chill: -03 C / +27F

Wind direction :South

Meters of ice collected: 0

Other data from this site:

Notes on daily Life:

The day began with a photo shoot for the ITASE team. At 9 am we met in our big red parkas and walked to the ice where Joan Myers a photographer with the USAP artists and writers program shot many photos for our use. We’re spending the day working in the lab, making phone calls and writing letters home, and enjoying the beautiful area that surrounds us. Some members of the team are skate skiing on the glacier and sea ice, and others have gone for walks on the ice free areas around the station. Our author today is Susan Kaspari, she is a veteran of four seasons in Antarctica and two ITASE traverses. Susan has had the opportunity to work in many rolls here in Antarctica. Logbook

Before beginning graduate school I spent two seasons in Antarctica as a support worker fueling aircraft. Yesterday during our field trip to Cape Royd I was reminded of my first season in Antarctica. I remember looking at the terminus of the Barne glacier and being in awe of its beauty and so curious about the forces that caused the glacier to form. I’m very thankful that I’m now able to come to Antarctica as a scientist to do research and learn about Antarctica, but I’m also thankful for my first two seasons as a support worker in McMurdo. For many scientists McMurdo is little more than a logistics hub, but after spending so much time here to me it feels more like a home away from home.

People in McMurdo work hard- the typical work schedule is to work 6 ten-hour days a week, with Sunday being a welcome day for rest and recreation. People work hard, but they play hard, too. To give an idea of the available facilities and things to do in McMurdo, there is a cardio gym, a weight lifting gym, a large gym used for soccer, volley ball and other sport leagues, a rock climbing wall and bouldering cave, a ceramics lab, two bars and a coffee house, a greenhouse, belly dancing lessons, yoga classes, dance lessons, live bands, frequent parties, bingo, a radio station, a bowling alley, political discussions, a chapel, art shows, poetry readings, phenomenal skate and classic skiing…. There’s always something to do in McMurdo.

The people that are attracted to working in Antarctica are generally high energy, adventurous people with a curiosity of the world, and this is what makes being part of the community so special. I worked hard as a support worker, but with such a great community of people work was fun and I felt like I was part of a family down here. Most scientists pass through McMurdo quickly on their way to the field and never experience this- now I have the best of both worlds. I’m able to catch up with old friends while in McMurdo while following my dream to do Antarctic research.

We’re anxiously awaiting our departure to the field- we were told today that we are scheduled to leave on Tuesday. Two live bands are playing at Gallagher’s tonight (one of the pubs) so the team will have a night on the town. It’s Saturday night in MacTown…

Susan checking out the bouldering cave.

Susan with one of her friends, Nicholas. He stopped by to visit us in the office. He is a heavy equipment operator here in McMurdo.

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