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> Man (Woman) the Pumps!, January 10, 2006
post Jan 12 2006, 05:02 AM
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Man (Woman) the Pumps!
January 10, 2006

For those interested in things Antarctic and some fine journalism, check out the weekly Antarctic newspaper at http://AntarcticSun.usap.gov

Hello from the Ice!
For additional Antarctic pics, check out the Gallery.

Where’s Rosenberger?
Pony Lake, Ross Island, Antarctica

So, my flight out of McMurdo for home has been delayed for mechanical reasons, so I will post my journal from my field camp experience. I have some great helo shots. Tomorrow I will do my final post from Antarctica, if the C-17 cargo plane is fixed, that is (Antarctica is a harsh continent). Thanks to all of the students around the country who took part in my live teleconference!

Field Camp
Hello from the field camp! I am using the satellite hook-up from our neighbor David Ainley’s (the Adelie penguin researcher) more permanent field camp to send this journal.

> El Cap goes to Antarctica!
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Pumping has started! My job is to fill up 55-gallon drums with the filtered water, close them up, and move them to the place to wait for helicopter pick-up. Thhis 800 foot teflon tubing carries the water from Pony Lake up the hill to the barrel filling station. Not too exciting, but look at my view!
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> Ryan sets up water chemistry tests:
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Actually, the helicopter pick-up of barrels is pretty incredible to watch. What we do is put between 2 and 4 full barrels onto a big net then we pull the net up around them. Then we attach a 15-foot cable to the net and lay it on the ground next to the barrels. When the helicopter comes, Chris takes the end of the 15-foot cable and stands there holding it high in the air. The helo comes and hovers over him and he hooks it to a metal loop on the bottom of the aircraft. Then, he runs out from underneath. When the pilot sees him run out, he takes off and lifts up the barrels and transports them to McMurdo. This is called a “slingload” and it is pretty spectacular to watch. These pilots are awesome!

> Setting up a slingload:
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> Chris hooks a slingload:
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> Slingload on the way:
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I wasn’t cold at all in my mountain tent during the night and I was very happy about this. One nice thing is that the sun shines all of the time so the tents really warm up inside. The Byrd Field Center in McMurdo provides good Antarctic equipment for everything the field teams need. The wind got really strong during the “night” and Chris got up and walked down to Pony Lake to make sure none of our equipment would blow away.
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Another thing that all field teams must do is check in with McMurdo Operations (Mac Ops) at least once per day by radio. This is at a set time that the field team decides on (ours is at 8 am). The purpose of this call is to make sure that everything is OK, because otherwise there is no communication possible. Because Antarctica is so very harsh, if you don’t call in at the designated time, Mac Ops assumes that there is something wrong and starts the Search and Rescue procedure.

Some of the Adelie penguins have chicks which they fiercely guard. The parents are still making the long walk to the ice edge to eat krill and fish, and bring back this yummy food for their babies in their stomachs. Unfortunately, the skuas are very good at being predators and the parents can’t always fend them off.

Did you know?
Penguin chicks are the cutest thing ever!
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Current Conditions at McMurdo Station
I have no idea because I am not there! Here it is sunny and warm (relatively, I only needed long underwear, 2 layers of fleece, a windbreaker, hat, goggles, gloves).
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post Jan 12 2006, 08:34 PM
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Hoooo.. Look at camper Dena!

What no room service....no "Heated Pool" I see a pool but I bet you havent gone swimming.....

I bet that flag is going to be popular when you get back....

Whens the homecoming?

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