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Wednesday, November 28, 2007: Trip to Cape Evans
Blee mentioned that we had a day off on Monday and the highlights of the day for him were having seal snot blown in his face and licking an iceberg. Now I don’t want everyone thinking we all are as easy to please as Blee. Some of us prefer the more civilized side of vacationing in Antarctica.


Evan’s Wall is a shear volcanic wall that rises about 200 feet above the sea ice. Glacier ice pours over the wall and extends well below the sea ice and down to the ocean floor.

Our first event of the day off was to dive this location. Beneath the water, large rocks create a steep slope heading deeper than we could venture. At our 130 foot depth limit we found a rich community of sponges and soft corals and in the shallower depths were ice waterfalls extending to the bottom. It was a very pretty dive.

After our dive, Stacy unpacked a gourmet lunch and Blee complimented the spread with a nice bottle of wine.

I don’t think Blee ate or drank any wine because he was scared it might wipe off some of his precious seal snot. After lunch we took a walk along the ice wall and ended up at the iceberg locked in the sea ice. While the boys were licking and climbing I walked around looking at all the sculptured ice. I took picture after picture until the batteries in my camera froze and ended the photo session.

We then drove farther north to Cape Evans where Scott’s hut still stands. On the way we came across a small group of Adelie Penguins walking and sliding across the ice. It is a mystery as to where they were headed but they were definitely on some kind of a mission.

Scott’s Hut was a staging point for Scott’s ill fated attempt at reaching the South Pole. The 96 year old hut is in remarkable condition and is still provisioned with the gear and food from their occupation. The deep cold has kept this time capsule intact and it is a humbling and awe inspiring step back in time.

Brian was kind enough to pilot the Mattrak on the long drive home while the rest of the crew nodded off. It was our day off! So that is my view of a great vacation day in Antarctica. There is however always seal snot and iceberg licking if that better suits your tastes.

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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.