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Week 1 - November 3, 1999 to November 6, 1999

Date: 11/06/99
Latitude: 77 degrees, 51 minutes South
Longitude: 166 degrees 40 minutes East
Temperature: -6 C
Wind speed: 51 -76 knots
Wind Chill: -29 C
Wind direction: SW
Meters of ice collected: 0

Notes on daily life:

All is well with the ITASE team. It is very windy with gusts up to 67 knots and very cold. The food is good and plentiful. Everyone is still packing gear and preparing for departure to Byrd Station in a week hopefully. The dew point is -10 C and the barometer is at 28.77 inches and rising which may be a good sign for clearing weather. Flights to Byrd Station to drop equipment might start this Sunday. Everyone is in good spirits and excited about getting out into the field. Some team members have taken advantage of the e-mail at McMurdo and sent messages home. Once the team leaves for the field, communications will be limited to calls on their Iridium phones. The next live phone call from Dr. Mayewski in Antarctica to the Boston Museum of Science is scheduled for Saturday, November 6, at 11 a.m. Eastern Standard Time. The sun is up now at McMurdo until February 2000.

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Date: 11/05/99
Latitude: 77 degrees, 51 minutes South
Longitude: 166 degrees 40 minutes East
Temperature:−12 C
Wind speed: 1 knot
Wind Chill:−4°C( 25°F)
Wind direction: ENE
Meters of ice collected: 0

Notes on daily life:

Kevin and Joe fine tuned the food list and planned field dinners. They will pack all the food on Saturday. Readied core boxes, batteries, and marker flags on palettes for shipping into the field. Built tow ropes and hitches for towing nansen sleds behind snowmobiles. Mike G. designed and built a Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) unit holder and power source for the GPS units attached to the snowmobiles. Other various organizational and equipment gathering activities. Weather yesterday was beautiful. Weather deteriorated somewhat late in the day. All flights again cancelled. Only two flights have made it in from New Zealand during the last two weeks.

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Date: 11/03/99
Latitude: 77 degrees, 51 minutes South
Longitude: 166 degrees 40 minutes East
Temperature:−15
Wind speed: 14 knots
Wind Chill:−4°C( 25°F)
Wind direction: East
Meters of ice collected: 0

Notes on daily life:

Paul, Mark, Mike, Tyler, Joe, Kevin arrived at McMurdo on the evening of the 30th. Gordon, Bob, Bert, Steve are delayed in NZ due to Antarctic weather. Expected to arrive today or tomorrow. McMurdo Halloween costume party on the evening of the 30th. Since then have been attending various required McMurdo station classes for people staying at McMurdo and field parties:

1) Waste management: All waste shipped from station (>4million lbs. of waste produced on Antarctica each year). Station recycles 70% of all waste. Class teaches how to separate and dispose of waste properly.

2) Snow Craft School: All 1st timers required to spend 2 days one night outdoors learning how to survive if stranded, how to work stoves, radios, tents, and snow shelter construction. Joe, Kevin, Mike required to attend. Left yesterday am will be back tonight. Lucky enough to have Condition 1 weather: Condition 1 is anything worse than the following conditions: wind > 55 knots, Wind Chill <−75 to−100 F, Visibility < 100ft to .25 mi.

Paul, Mark, Tyler have been to Antarctica before so required to take only a PUSH course where a brief review of radio operation and stove maintenance is covered.

3) Outdoor safety class: Safety concerns for those desiring to participate in outdoor recreation around and about McMurdo station. What locations are off limits, staying on flagged routes, travelling with a partner, signing out before leaving

What we have done so far:

Logistics meeting: All ASA coordinators involved in camp put in and expedition person and equipment put in logistical support meeting. Weather has delayed the initial Byrd camp put in. By the end of the week the 1st C-130 flight should arrive (wx depending) at Byrd. Jamesway and skiway will be prepared by support staff. By the 12th first 6 ITASE members will be put in along with personal gear. Earlier flights will unload Tuckers, sleds, and other heavy gear. Remaining 4 ITASE members will arrive on the 13th.

Been organizing, sorting, and checking field gear: tents, cooking gear (stoves), ice coring equipment, gear that was shipped early. This involves a lot of time: locating gear, decision making,etc.

Eating lots of food at the station "Galley" to fatten up for the cold field season ahead.

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