Lake Fluctuations - Dry Valleys of Antarctica
Brenda Hall, Thomas Whittaker, Katie Faloon and Alex Roy
University of Maine
John Stone, Howard Conway and Maurice Conway
University of Washington
December 15, 2003 to February 10, 2003


Thursday December18, 2003
Alex writes from McMurdo:

We made it! Yes after a whirlwind ride from Maine we have arrived safely here in McMurdo Station, a bit worn out but glad to be on the Ice nonetheless. Katie,Tom, Erica and myself are doing well and settling in here on base.

We are scheduled for a logistics meeting tomorrow morning (19th) and I will also be contacting Brenda via Iridium Phone to let her know we have arrived early. Tom and I are scheduled for our field refresher course on Sat, so we should be able to do some work and get most of the gear together this weekend. The girls have their snow-school on Mon-Tues so there is a chance we may all be able to go out in the field together. If things move the way they have been so far (very fast) I foresee us in the field before Xmas. Brenda had the opportunity to arrange most of the gear, leaving us only a few things to get together (Radios, Coring Equipment, ect.).

The weather here in Mac-Town is a balmy 38 degrees, with no wind, and a lot of melt runoff. If this nice weather holds we should have a fantastic field season, but again this is Antarctica, and that is something you can never count on.

Wednesday December 17, 2003
Tom reports from Christchurch:

We made it out of Bangor through a snowstorm on Monday morning. Someone later told me that we were on the last flight out that day. We had a very bumpy ride down to Boston, but all of the flights after that were a piece of cake. We used our five hour lay-over in Los Angeles to take a cab to Venice Beach. While there we paddled in the Pacific, and then watched the sun set over the ocean.

Everybody slept well on the flight down to Auckland, and as a result we're all feeling quite rested. We did though get a big surprise at Christchurch when we met the Raytheon representative. Turned out that we would be heading South a day earlier than anticipated. So we went and got our clothes at the CDC, and then used what was left of the day to find a place to eat and to get to know our Kiwi colleague, Erica, who'd also flown down from the North Island that day. We didn't even have time to see The Lord of The Rings! Unless we boomerang today, we'll have to wait until February to see the movie.

So now, less than 24 hours after we arrived in Christchurch, we are all sweating to death in our ECW gear waiting to board a Kiwi Herc to McMurdo. The loadmaster reckoned a flight time of 7 hours. Fingers crossed all goes well!

iwi Herc to McMurdo. The loadmaster reckoned a flight time of 7 hours. Fingers crossed all goes well!