Date: 12/25/03
Latitude: 81.65 degrees South
Longitude: 122.60 degrees East
Temperature: −25°C( −13°F)
Wind speed: 27 knots
Wind Chill: −42°C( −44°F)
Wind direction: not given
Elevation: 9,722 feet
Kilometers traveled: 1350

Notes on daily life:
By Dan

Christmas Day.
It looks as if our days of nice weather are over; the temperature and wind speed started out at −24 C and 18 knots this morning and by midday had changed to −25 C and 27 knots! There was a lot of blowing snow and visibility was down to a few hundred meters. This kind of weather is normal for this area of Antarctica but it makes work difficult nonetheless.

Tom and I spent most of the day in the snow pit again! Thank goodness we had marked out the route with flags or we would never have found it. The rest of the crew worked hard around camp packing and preparing the trains. James spent the whole day grooming the skiway ready for tomorrows Twin Otter flight. A Twin Otter is a type of dual–engine aircraft that flies for the National Science Foundation U.S. Antarctic Program during the Antarctic summers, the planes are operated by Ken Borek airlines. The Twin Otter planes are small compared to a Hercules LC–130 and can carry ~10 passengers or an equivalent amount of cargo. The reason why the Antarctic Program uses these planes is that they are ski–equipped, rugged, light and able to land on virtually any ungroomed snow surface.


Date: 12/26/03
Latitude: 81.28 degrees South
Longitude: 123.42 degrees East
Temperature: −19°C( −2°F)
Wind speed: 18 knots
Wind Chill: −32°C( −25°F)
Wind direction: not given
Elevation: 9,670 feet
Kilometers traveled: 1400

Notes on daily life:
By Dan

I spent most of the morning packing the drill sled and preparing the trains for travel. Tom collected some last minute density and stratigraphy measurements from our pit and then returned to camp to help pack.

The Twin Otter arrived at ~12:30, collected Tim and dropped off Tayloe and Drew. These two guys will travel with us to Megadunes and help us to set up the new camp there. When we leave Megadunes they will stay behind and act as camp managers and safety staff for the soon–to–be–arriving science crews.

After the Twin Otter had refueled and left we continued to prepare our trains for travel. We left TAMCAMP at ~15:00 and headed for Megadunes. The ride was very good; a hard surface meant that we could travel fast (relatively). We made extremely good progress and stopped several times along the way so that Tom and I could collect surface snow samples.