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Wednesday, October 31, 2007: All in a days work at New Harbor
As Stacy reported in the previous post we are currently at our beautiful deep field camp New Harbor, which is about 60 miles away from McMurdo Station. Today was filled with all kinds of jobs that needed to be done around the camp and some of today’s highlights include pluming issues, moving of equipment, starting generators, drilling and cooking.

Just take in the beauty of New Harbor, and I thought McMurdo was amazing.


So the morning started off cold! I woke up a few times throughout the night because I felt pretty cold and noticed my sleeping bag was a bit unzipped. I thought this was why I felt cold but when I awoke I found it was still very cold in our hut. Upon inspection Stacy saw that the heater was on the lowest setting and turned it up. This helped out a little but our hut is so big it would be a couple of hours before cranking up the heat would make a difference. As Mindy, Stacy and I sat around the kitchen we talked about turning the oven on to help heat the hut (an old trick I remember my mom doing as a kid). Stacy turned on the oven and within a few minutes we had the oven blazing and by this time the rest of the group was awake. Marcus and Bob felt the heat immediately came over to the oven. This led to… well the picture below explains it all.

The oven seems to work better than the heaters do!

After warming up our bones we all had some breakfast. Mindy was so kind to cook everyone some oatmeal, thank you very much Mindy, and made some coffee. While we were enjoying breakfast our camp was called on the radio and we were informed that two visitors were going to be dropped off via helicopter. The visitors were Joe and Tomas from McMurdo Station and were here to help us GPS some locations. Now the real work begins.

During breakfast I went out to our lovely outhouse (see picture below) but discovered something very interesting. Upon doing the morning procedure I noticed the tube where guys pee had sprung a leak…. on the wall and my shoes. Why do I always end up with pee on me and my stuff!!! (see “Happy Camper is an Understatement” post) I reported my findings to the girls inside but they were already aware of the frozen tubes. They were inside trying to devise a plan on how to unfreeze the tubes. By this time the whole group had joined in on devising a plan and Marcus and Bryan took charge of this task. Boy did they have a good time and their plan involved a hair dryer, generator, screw driver, kerosene heater and a new barrel to dispose of the waste. Through relentless effort Marcus and Bryan got the outhouse working again and just in time.

Marcus how can you smile with frozen pee in your hands?

Bryan worked the frozen line from the inside. Notice we have two different places to do business, how luxurious!

While Marcus and Bryan battled the bathroom Mindy and Stacy were off drilling holes. These girls punched through 12 feet of “dirty ice” in no time at our soon to be dive/ROV site Explores Cove. During the drilling process Bob and I were moving our ice melting equipment which included a generator, an ice melting machine and a hot finger that you stick down a drilled hole to enlarge it.

Moving equipment, Antarctica style. I'm in the back riding the machine like it's a bronco.

So we are all set. The girls have the hole drilled and Bob and I have the ice melting equipment read but of course the unexpected incidents begin to occur. The ice melting machine that we use re-circulates glycol (think of the stuff that is in your radiator) in the hot finger and is suppose to be a nice fluid liquid. Well the liquid that was in our ice melting machine was pretty much frozen and of no use to us. Along with frozen glycol, the hot finger was busted in the shipping process

The first hot finger was not hot nor happy at the New Harbor Camp, notice the busted weld.

By this time the work day was coming to an end and everyone’s energy levels were running low. When you are busy working in the field it’s hard to remember to replenish the liquids that you displace and to continuously be munching down food. Working outdoors in a cold environment such as Antarctica will make you thirsty and hungry and if you forget to drink and eat you will feel your body crash.

So after our day of drilling, moving equipment and bathroom maintenance I was in charge of cooking dinner for the night. Each night someone else is responsible for cooking for the whole group and I elected to cook tonight. Tonight’s dinner called for chicken breast with chopped onions and rosemary, linguine with creamy pesto sauce, garlic toast and veggies. I really miss cooking as it was one of my favorite things to do back home and I had a great time making food for everyone. Yummy!

Tonight’s dinner being prepared, I think we eat better out here than we do back at McMurdo!

Just thought I would leave you with another picture to show you how beautiful this place is.


Hey Nick, as we speak I have the oven on. Haven't turn on the furnace yet.Hope your having the time of your life. Be safe.......Mom

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This material is based on work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. ANT-0619622 ( Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.