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Polar Radar for Ice Sheet Measurements

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  Saturday, December 24, 2005

Today is Christmas Eve and many of the support staff are having a break today. It seems pretty relaxed and fun around here with people dressed like Santa's elves running around the halls greeting everyone. The cooks had prepared a great brunch and dinner today - lots of choices and all of them good! The seafood gumbo and homemade bread were particularly noteworthy. These cooks really try to keep people happy. I hear they are really working hard to prepare a traditional Christmas feast for us.

David and Prasad had a conference call with the group at WAIS last night. They also worked hard this morning tidying up the odds and ends that need to be in place for us to get the best possible results from this field season and working on future publications. The rest of the team at McMurdo used today to take in some of the neighboring sights such as Williams Air Field out on the sea ice, where we were fortunate enough to see a C-130 landing just as we got there. What a beautiful sight. The group also hiked out to Robert Falcon Scott's hut at Discovery point. The scenery is really spectacular. It is pretty clear and you can see the islands and peaks out in McMurdo Sound. At one point the sun was glinting off of one or two peaks, but the rest were in shadow. It never looks the same twice. We saw some Weddell seals on the sea ice and the Russian icebreaker, Krasin, off in the distance. The Krasin has been hired by the National Science Foundation to cut a channel in the sea ice from the open ocean to McMurdo. Supply ships will use the channel to reach McMurdo.

The weather is about the same as it has been (around 30 F) but there was a little more wind today, so it felt cooler than it has before. We were glad to wear our hats and gloves today. The team at McMurdo is eager to be off to the ice. We have another briefing tomorrow and then mandatory survival and safety training next week. We are scheduled to be out to WAIS Divide camp next Thursday.

We wish all our friends and families a very happy holiday and we congratulate the Jayhawk football team who won the Fort Worth Bowl today with a score of 42-13. Go Jayhawks!

NOTE: This was the entire journal entry, not just page 1.

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