27 October, 1998

The day today was pretty much routine with lab work up until about 7:00 pm. We decided to go on a late night fishing expedition. This time I opted to drive the warm "sprite." I was a wimp and decided I did not want to ride in the cold air tonight. The sprite looks like a cross between a bulldozer and a truck. That was one of the first vehicles I learned to drive when I got here. There is not much to driving it. You have two handles instead of a steering wheel. There is a right and a left handle. If you want to go right you pull on the right handle and the same for left. They do not go very fast either.

On our fishing trips one person has to drive the sprite because we put our containers of fish in it to keep them warm. We were going "night" fishing. We got back at 2:30 am. The trip takes about an hour by snowmobile and 2 hours by sprite, but I was warm the whole way with no wind blowing on me.

While we were out I did a little playing also. Because I was so much slower the others left me way behind. I took advantage of the solitude and learned the nuances of a sprite. I found out that a sprite can do doughnuts of the ice. I made it do a 270 degree spin. I probably should not have played since I was by myself but once again the kid came out in me.

On my way back the seal team camp called and asked if I could drag the fuel sled back to McMurdo. The fuel sled contains a large container of kerosene that is used to fuel up the fishing huts and study huts that researchers take out in the field. If you want a warm hut you have to keep fuel in it. Dragging that back added about another 20 minutes to my trip because of the extra weight but that was OK. Everyone here helps out anyone anytime you can. You never know when you might need a favor. I saved them a two hour trip each way. The thing that worried me about the trip back was that to get to the seal research team I had to go over ice that I was unfamiliar with. I know the ice in most places is still six feet thick but with all that weight I still worried about the ice cracking underneath me and my vehicle.

Well that was my day today. Oh yes, we only caught eight fish. There were two fish in the traps and only one person caught the othersix and it was not me. I only got a couple of bites. Three people sitting around a small hole and only one person catches the fish. I must not have been holding my mouth right or else the fish were still sleeping. Oh well, next time. This closes out another journal entry. Until the next entry, goodnight.

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