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> Holiday Celebrations!, December 25, 2005
Dena_Rosenberger
post Dec 26 2005, 08:25 AM
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Holiday Celebrations!
December 25, 2005

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

Hello from the Ice!
For additional Antarctic pics, check out the Gallery. Thanks to all of my friends, family, and new acquaintances that wished me a Happy Holidays.

Where’s Rosenberger?
Ross Island, Antarctica

Happy Holidays! We had a day off for the Holiday Feast in the Galley. They had three seatings and our science group chose the 5:00 seating. I give a big kudos to the Dining Staff for putting on a wonderful dinner for over 1000 people. We had roast duck with wild rice, beef tenderloin with carmelized onion sauce, baked potatoes, FRESH asparagus, other roasted vegetables, FRESH green salad, shrimp and cocktail sauce, wine, and various scrumptious desserts.

Our science group at Christmas dinner:
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The night before, we had the “Town Party” in the Heavy Equipment Shop, which was really spiffed up. The choir sang Christmas carols, there were all kinds of food trays, music, dancing, a slideshow played with pictures that everyone had submitted earlier of family, friends, and pets. Santa made an appearance (although this must have been his last stop of the night!):
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and there were McMurdo Christmas cutouts for photographs. They really go all out to make everyone feel better since we are so far away from our friends and family over the holidays.

My friend Jean Pennycook and I at the Town Christmas Party in the Heavy Equipment Shop:
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We also took advantage of our day off by getting together a group and going on a six-mile hike in the morning with a beautiful rock crag as our goal. It was an overcast day, but that didn’t dampen this group's holiday spirits.
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On the way to Castle Rock (behind me in this picture), is a survival hut called an "apple." This is a place where hikers or skiers can get out of the wind and weather if needed. Remember, McMurdo Station is about three miles away, and blizzards can come up very quickly, producing white-out conditions.
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The crag is called Castle Rock. It is a pushed up and tilted volcanic flow that looks like nicely-layered sandstone from a distance, but upon closer inspection, is revealed to be a light reddish-brown lava flow with black chunks of another lava imbedded in the flow layers. The reddish-brown matrix is called a welded tuff. The geologists call it a hyaloclastite, which is a fancy word meaning that it was made by basaltic lava erupting under ice (or water). The basalt was chemically altered by reacting with the water and became the reddish brown-matrix imprisoning unaltered sharp-edged chunks of black basalt. Hyaloclastites are forming today in Iceland where volcanoes erupt under ice caps. The front of Castle Rock is several hundred feet of vertical (but climbable) lava rock.

Castle Rock layers: (I put my chapstick into the picture for scale)
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McMurdo Sound and the sea ice are behind me:
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Kaelin and I on the rock:
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Jack and Kaelin on the tilted lava layers:
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At the top (Class III)!
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At the bottom of the crag, there is a long, downhill snow slope back to the trail. We took advantage of this by holding our packs on our stomachs, plopping down on our backs, and sliding down feet up.

On the way home, we paused for a photo op with Castle Rock in the background:
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Follow the flags back to station for a wonderful holiday meal:
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Did you know?
A rift is a place where the Earth’s crust is being pulled apart due to plate movement. Scientists here in Antarctica have placed very precise GPS monitoring devices around the continent and have just recently been able to confirm that Antarctica is rifting. According to very recent data, half of the rifting is on land and half is offshore. They are also measuring the vertical movement of different parts of land in Antarctica. What they have found is that as the huge ice sheet covering Antarctica recedes and shrinks (due to warming global temperatures), the land is “bouncing back” under the lighter weight.

Current Conditions at McMurdo Station
We did have sort of a White Christmas, although the snowfall is very light. Today’s weather forecast is about the biggest weather cop-out I have ever seen: “A smorgasbord of weather features will bring variable clouds and visibility with light snow throughout the period.” Huh? Smorgasbord??

Right now:
Winds from the south at 20 knots (pretty windy!)
Pressure: 29.450 inHg
Temperature: 28 oF/-2 oC with wind chill: 0 F/ -18 C
Sunset: February 20 at 1:38 am
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Lindsay Ferguson
post Dec 27 2005, 06:43 PM
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hello ms. r, i am so glad to read that you are having an awesome holiday season in antarctica. i love the picture of you on santa's lap. it was hilarious! i also loved reading about the fun hike you took to the volcanoe. it looks so beautiful there. i can't wait to see you in 2006! we all miss you sooooo much!
love,
lindsay
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Guest
post Dec 27 2005, 09:32 PM
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Hahahaha..aren't you a little too old for Santa's Lap..

The Pitts's wish you a Happy and warmer Xmas....

And Maybe another sit on Santa's lap
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Guest
post Dec 27 2005, 10:16 PM
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QUOTE(Guest @ Dec 27 2005, 09:32 PM)
Hahahaha..aren't you a little too old for Santa's Lap..

The Pitts's wish you a Happy and warmer Xmas....

And Maybe another sit on Santa's lap
*



And we had a visit from a couple of Reindeer
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Casey and Eli say Happy New Year
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Dena_Rosenberger
post Dec 27 2005, 11:12 PM
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Hi Lindsay!

I hope your holidays were (and are still) good. We did have a fun Christmas and a day off. One of my friends just sent me the article from the SD Union-Tribune so I got to see your smiling face again while I showed it off to everyone!

I will see you in a few weeks.
(Be sure to study for your chem final!)

Love,
Ms. R





QUOTE(Lindsay Ferguson @ Dec 27 2005, 06:43 PM)
hello ms. r, i am so glad to read that you are having an awesome holiday season in antarctica. i love the picture of you on santa's lap. it was hilarious! i also loved reading about the fun hike you took to the volcanoe. it looks so beautiful there. i can't wait to see you in 2006! we all miss you sooooo much!
love,
lindsay
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Dena_Rosenberger
post Dec 27 2005, 11:17 PM
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Hello Pitts Family! Happy Holidays to you!

I think Casey and Eli are only waiting for a treat for their beautiful posing.

Take care,
Hugs & Kisses

QUOTE(Guest @ Dec 27 2005, 10:16 PM)
And we had a visit from a couple of Reindeer
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Casey and Eli say Happy New Year
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