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Polar Radar for Ice Sheet Measurements

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Chapter 14 - At Hut Point

Discovery Hut is at the end of Ross Island, at a point called Hut Point. There are lots of interesting trails and things to see at Hut Point. OzGold is looking over the edge of a very steep cliff to see if he can see any animals. I'm not sure it is safe for him to get so close to the edge.

One of the interesting things is Vince's Cross. This is a memorial cross for a member of Scott's expedition who got caught in a whiteout (where you can't see because of the blowing snow) and fell off the cliff when trying to get back to the camp.

There is also a Skua nest around here. A skua is a scavenger bird that lives in Antarctica. It loves to sail on the wind currents like a hawk or eagle. Some people don't like skuas because they eat penguin eggs and chicks, but they are just trying to live in a harsh environment and they eat what they can. We didn't see the skua nest, but we did see several skuas. This one is taking a bath.

The sea ice comes very close to Hut Point. So it is a good place to look for animals. These are some Weddell seals that were resting on the ice. We can't get very close, so you mostly just see blobs out on the ice.

We also saw an Adelie penguin out at Hut Point. This was the only penguin we saw on our whole Antarctic trip. That was sort of disappointing, but at least we did see one. Most people didn't see any. We also took a little movie of the penguin so you could hear it calling and walking. If you like to listen to penguins and other animals, go to Sounds of Antarctica. OzGold loves to hear the Emperor penguin sneeze.

One of the funniest things was when the penguin lay down on its tummy and then got up and started stomping on the place where it had been laying. I guess it thought the snow was just too lumpy there.


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