Tomoko Arai, Recon Team, 18th January, 2013, Szabo Bluff
The end of the Antarctic summer season is approaching, but the weather today was still not unfortunately good enough for us to get back to the McMurdo. We need to fly from here to the Klein glacier by the Twin Otter flight, and then fly back to the McMurdo by the larger LC-130 aircraft. Since the weather now (around 10 pm) is perfect for the flight with no wind, no snow and clear blue sky (see the picture), we are hoping to get out of here definitely tomorrow!
We have a meeting in the tent of John and Joe at 19:30 every night. Especially in such prolonged tent days, the meeting is the only place where all of the four (John, Joe, Katie and myself) can get together, sit back and talk over after-dinner hot chocolate. Each night John kindly reads aloud us from the diaries of Amundsen and Scott, both of who headed for the South Pole around 100 years ago. Because the dates of the diaries are overlapped with our camp days, we compare our experiences with theirs day by day. Last night, John, who has over 30 years experience of the ANSMET mountaineer, told us how the ANSMET programme started in 1976-1977 season and of the U.S.-Japan joint missions which were undertaken during the first few years. I was glad to hear the history of the programme, and I felt how fortunate I am here not only as a meteorite researcher, but also being Japanese. In fact, the joint Japanese-Belgium Antarctic meteorite search mission is currently going on the opposite side of the Antarctica. I would like to send them positive vibes to collect many and exciting meteorites and I wish them all the best with their current field season (hopefully they are getting fine weather!).