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Date:   November 15, 2006
Location:   Taylor Dome
Latitude:  77 degrees, 47 minutes South
Longitude:  158 degrees, 43 minutes East
Temperature:  −43°C (−45°F)
Wind Speed:   6 knots
Wind Chill:  −55°C (−68°F)
Elevation:  2,365 meters (7,759 feet)
Written by:   Lora

Settling in

Today started with another wonderful meal from Cathy.  We are all so happy she is our cook.  It is amazing that she can cook so well for 9 people with a small camp stove and kitchen. 

The wind stopped today so it was much more pleasant to be outside.  We are all taking it pretty easy.  Most of us have slight headaches from the altitude.

The day was spent working on all sorts of projects aimed at getting the gear ready for the traverse.  The mechanics, Josh and Paul, did preventative maintenance on the tractors (Cats).  Brain and Andrei unloaded pallets and started to get the radars set up.  They are working on getting the crevasse radar mounted on the Pisten Bully so we can travel to the ice core site safely.  Joe and I worked on getting the sleds ready.   Joe and Andrei loaded the ice core boxes on a sled so we can take them with us. 

Power and water in a field camp are scarce.  We get our power from a generator.  The generator has to power the heat in the kitchen, keep the Cats warm when they are off, charge radios and satellite phones, melt water and power science equipment.  We have to melt snow for our water.  We can do this in two ways.  We can put a pot on the stove to melt the water or use the water melter.  The water melter is a large trough mounted on the front of the kitchen shelter.  You load snow into the trough, plug it in and let the heating element melt the water.  Once the water is melted there is a spout where the water comes out and goes into large water buckets that are stored inside.  The spout often freezes.  There is no running water or sinks in our kitchen. Instead we use large water containers and 10 gallon water jugs like they use on the sidelines of football games.