7 October, 1998

What a fantastic day. After days of bad weather the sun has finally come out from behind those clouds. It is even a little warmer today. It probably got up to 0C today. The first thing I did today was help move the fishing huts on the sea ice. The fishing huts cover the l meter diameter fishing hole. We pulled up the fish traps out of the water. They were covered with sea worms. We had to pull everyone of them off by hand and throw them back into the water. They look like a very large nightcrawler and are even slimier. That part was not so pleasant. Later on this morning I received my "skiddoo" training. The skiddoo is an Alpine II Snow Sled. The training was pretty simple but important. In addition to learning how to operate it, we learned how to troubleshoot and fix some of the mechanical problems should we break down while away from McMurdo. After my training Dr. Petzel, his graduate student and I took off for the other fishing about a mile out on the sea ice. He had two huts put out there over new holes drilled in the ice. The rest of the day until dinner was spent fishing. To gather the fish we need for our research we have to put traps doen in the water. We need a lot of fish. There are four of us each with our own research. Each of us needs about 40 fish. Right now the traps are not bringing in enough fish so we tried it the old fashioned way, with a hook, line and bait. Three of us spent about 2 hours with our lines lowered into the same hole. I was the only one that caught anything. I caught 12 fish. After a while the others gave up. I received a hero's welcome when I returned to the lab. While we were fishing a seal went swimming by. Seals are a little dangerous. They have been known to bite people. A person that gets bit can get very ill from a seal bite. They come down with an illness called seal mouth. It is something like rabies that dogs get. At the first hole drilled today a seal stuck his head up as we were leaving. He was gone when we returned. After supper it was time to head back to the lab. We had to test fish samples for the concentration of sodium ions and potassium ions. That took up most of the evening. Now I am sitting here half asleep trying to get it all entered into the journal. It was a very good day. I am beginning to feel like we are accomplishing something with our research. Another day in Antarctica is ending. I can look out my window now and see the sun has dropped down behind the mountains creating a twilight. That is about as dark as it will get. My eyes tell me it is time to quit so until tomorrow. . .

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