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Tuesday, December 11, 2007: Farewell!
Last Sunday we said our farewell and thank you to the community. Many people have volunteered to help us, taking time off work to come drill holes and haul heavy gear around. Even more have helped us as part of their jobs, but have done much more than that, making themselves available after hours and for inconvenient requests. We very much appreciate all that everyone has done to make things go well. So on Sunday, we set up both ROVs and invited our friends to come out and see underwater Antarctica for themselves.
Underwater life in Antarctica.

Now that we have finished our field work for the season, we are returning all the borrowed gear, equipment, vehicles, etc. Whatever we don’t return, we have to account for! So far, we are only missing two ice screws, which is pretty good, considering that the list of borrowed items ran to 14 pages long.
I have a theory that ice actually eats ice screws. Look at those teeth!

All the stuff that we need to bring back to with us, we have to pack up for shipping home. There are a multitude of options in terms of speed, temperature control, and expense, but all have a lot of paperwork associated with them, which has never been my strong point. We have 19 crates and boxes, before we even get to our personal gear.
Crates 1 and 2 out of 19...

And to make it all the more challenging, the weather has finally gotten nice. Clear blue sky all day makes the mountains seem so close. The sun is warm though in the shadows or a breeze it is still very cold. Nighttime walks are a wonderful way to wind down for sleep.
On a bedtime hike, Bob holds communications for the kiwi station on his fingertips.

Thanks to you too for your interest in our work and for all your comments and questions. Remember, this is only the first season of a three year project! We will update periodically until we deploy to Antarctica again in October 2008. Please come visit us again!
I'll leave you with some of my favorite images from this season -

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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.