Markus, Allyson, Jo, Rachel, Mee-ya, and John
It’s Monday and it’s back to work. 2 recoveries and 1 deployment today. We have more possible recoveries tomorrow and hopefully 2 more deployments. The pups are finally weaning, molting their pup coats, and getting old enough for us to tag them. Therefore, their moms are now ready to be tagged as well. We’re going to be in hyper drive for a while. As of today, we’ve tagged 16 animals this season so far. We only did 15 last year.
It was great to spend the Thanksgiving weekend with such a great group of people. We have kind of melded together with another Weddell seal group, becoming one giant family. The other group is B009 and I’ve spoken of them before, they were the group we went out to Cape Royds with and who have been tagging Weddell seals in McMurdo Sound for 30 years. We joke that our event number is really B479 (B470+B009) and sitting at a giant table at Thanksgiving, it really made it easy to list off the things I am grateful for. Spending Thanksgiving in an amazing, beautiful, and rare place to visit like Antarctica is truly amazing. Being surrounded by people who you’ve become such good friends with and team members who have become like family just makes the whole experience that much more surreal.
It’s 10:30 pm, I am attempting to convince myself to leave the lab. Since the week of doubles began, we have been leaving station at 9 am. Since we couldn’t find a second animal to tag today, we actually returned home quite early and even managed to make it back in time for dinner (5:30).
It was snowing today, which is a rare occurrence here, what with Antarctica being considered the driest place on Earth, on average. Watching the snow covering the sea ice in a thin layer of snow today, it actually reminded me of Christmas time, and made me a bit homesick. Everyone is so isolated from the real world here, that it just never truly feels like the holiday season here. At least I remember feeling that way last year, but after today, I feel a bit cheerier remembering that this is one my favorite times of the year. I think I might head to Skua (the Goodwill of McMurdo, only it’s a free exchange of goods) and see if I can find some twinkle lights to set up around my bed.
The weather today:
Temperature: -9.6°C or 15°F
Average Wind Speed: 5 knots
Skies: Mostly cloudy
Visibility: Unrestricted with light snow
It was actually very warm out today. The wind was virtually nonexistent and the sun was out to warm us, most of us were sweating with all of our layers on inside of the onion. Oh, and no I did not end up running the Turkey Trot, I slept in instead. Not really that surprising I suppose.