Survival School

Hi Nickle,

I saw the news on both stations, but did not record it. I probably should have. I think everyone did a great job on the TV. I do not watch a lot of TV, which is probably good here, as the TV is very limited. We do have Armed Forces Radio Television programs here. They put on some network programs, but without commercials. We also see a lot of video tape movies on the TV.

I do not know how to describe it how big the Nathaniel B. Palmer is, other than it is big. I just looked out the window at it, and it has 4 levels above deck, with the bridge on top. The NBP is pretty cool, but there was a cooler ship than came in today. It is a Russian Cruise ship that brought tourists into town. It anchored off the coast, and started bringing the tourists into town on helicopters. There where two helicopters that took off from the rear deck of the ship and flew passengers into town.

Thanks for writing, Dave

Hi Rhae,

When we crossed the ice shelf to go to Black Island, we flew on a US Coast Guard helicopter. It looked like the same type that is used by the Maryland State Police.

I will be going to survival school next week, probably on Tuesday and Wednesday. We will go out on the Ross Ice Shelf, and pitch tents and camp. I do not think I will mind it, except for getting up in the morning. That is when I will have to get out of a warm sleeping bag, and into the cold air, and put on cold boots. I have a plan to keep warm feet in the morning. I plan to keep my mukluk liners in the sleeping bag with me. One activity that I am a little worried about, is that they lower us into an ice crevasse. I think it will give me a respect for the dangers here, to see a deep crevasse from the inside. I will write about the school after I get back.

The person working with me in McMurdo is Matt Nelson. He is from Houston Texas, but moved there from Wyoming. He has been to the ice several times before, and is even going to the South Pole in a few days.

Thanks for writing, Dave

Hi Stephanie,

I am doing fine, and I am really enjoying Antarctica. I am presently learning all about the equipment I will be operating this winter. I am not sure what else I will learn, but I am learning new things all the time. When I was a kid, I always liked to get off school for snow days. We would spend the time off playing in the snow. It was always rough later in the year, when we had to go extra days to make up the time we missed.

Thanks for writing, Dave

Hi Holly,

I enjoyed coming to the school and meeting you and the other kids. I saw that they put your name on Zac's picture. It was quick, but I did spot it. I am back in Antarctica now, and am presently scheduled to fly back to the states on October 31. The date is not firm, and will most likely be changed. It may be as early as September, or as late as November.

I do hate to leave my family, and I miss them. This is something that I wanted to do, and they are understanding enough to allow me to come here. It is just as hard or maybe harder on them than it is on me. Coming to Antarctica is a trip few people ever get to do, and it takes a lot of preparation for the entire family.

Thanks for writing, Dave

Hi Cate,

I am doing fine, and enjoyed the trip to the school. I hope you pass to the sixth grade. I will be back sometime in the fall when I return from the ice. I do not know what date I will get home, but I will keep you kids informed. Thanks for writing, Dave

Hi Caitlin,

I enjoyed coming to your school for a visit, as well as seeing our project reported on the news. I will come back and visit your school again when I get back.

The temperatures this time of year are mild compared to other times during the year. Lately the temperatures have been near freezing. I have been going outside with a polar fleece jacket on the last few days. Today I had to break out the big fluffy parka because the wind started getting strong, and the wind chill dropped.

Thanks for writing, Dave

Hi Cate,

I am doing fine, and McMurdo is a very different place from anywhere I have been before. This is a very busy time in McMurdo, as the station prepares to stock up with supplies, and get ready to close the station for winter. It is cold here, but you have probably had similar temperatures to those here at this time. The coldest month will be August, which will probably be the warmest month where you live.

Survival school teaches us how to survive if we are stranded. We will go out and camp on the ice shelf, and learn how to stay alive in a cold harsh place. The weather here can change very rapidly, and can be very dangerous. I read an article recently about someone who died this season at another station, I believe it was one run by South Africa. A person froze to death just a few feet from shelter. A storm hit with whiteouts that made it impossible to see. Search parties did not go out for 2 days until the storm cleared, and they found him just a few feet from shelter. This is a very dangerous place, especially if you do not know how to take care of yourself.

Thanks for writing, Dave

Hi Hannah,

I am fine, and having a good time in Antarctica. The training I am going through now will prepare me for my work this winter. I have many years experience working with equipment used for satellite tracking, but this is a new station. I need to learn how the equipment is configured, as well as how to operate and maintain it.

I guess we are already keypals, as we are typing instead of writing. I will write back to you anytime.

Thanks for writing, Dave

Patricia A. Weeg
Return to Global Classroom