14 October, 1998

Boy did I wake up to a beautiful morning. The sun was out and the mountains across the bay about 40 miles away were beaming. They were beautiful with the sun bouncing off of the snow. This morning was a maintenance day. We had to move the fishing huts and drill new ice holes. One of the fish huts was sinking in the slushy ice so we had to move it fairly fast.

Due to a mix up in the time schedule Dr. Petzel had to leave for the fish huts before me. The drill rig left sooner than we had asked and a second person needed to be with him so Dr. Petzel left ahead of me. Normally that would not be a big deal except that while he was out the weather turned bad and since I did not have a radio I did not get the word that a Condition II weather alert had been announced so I started out by myself in weather I should not have been out in. The problem was more visibility than anything else today. I was a little concerned because I could not see very well and the tracks had filled in with snow. The huts are only a mile out on the ice so I could still see McMurdo and was in no real danger. I managed to head in the right direction and found the drill rig with no real problems.

While I was working in one of the fish huts getting it ready to be moved the seal popped his head up out of the water as if to say goodbye. It actually is a beautiful animal and does not look all that dangerous but I still kept my distance and kept between the icehole and the door. The seal did not spend anytime or make any noise. He just looked at me and was gone. It actually was a pretty nifty experience.

We got a few more fish out of the traps before we moved the hut. I had to take them to the aquarium to keep them from freezing. The snowmobile I was on did not have a carry rack big enough to hold the fish cooler so I had to balance it on the back of the snowmobile and drive at the same time. This was to prove my undoing. I drove over a pressure ridge in the ice and came done sideways on the downhill side. It was enough to through me off the snowmobile. The fish stayed on but I fell off. I had forgotten how hard ice is. I was more embarrassed than hurt but no one saw me fall so I got up and finished my task. The rest of the morning I spent pulling slush out of the new holes with a dip net and shoveling snow around the fish huts getting them "winterized." It was actually a pretty tiring morning.

The rest of the day was pretty mundane. We mostly worked on getting things ready for our next field outing Friday or Saturday. This evening I am calling it quits early. I cannot seem to catch up on my rest right now so I am going to bed early. I'll catch you on the next entry.


Stephanie Shipp

Department of Geology (713) 285-5168

& Geophysics MS126 (713) 285-5214 fax

Rice University shippst@ruf.rice.edu

Post Office Box 1892

6100 South Main

Houston, Texas 77005 *************************************************

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