Expedition Report from William Cassidy

Nov. 27, 1998, Friday: Patriot Hills Camp

Pascal and Liam took a trip over to Independence Hills to collect a greater variety of rocks from this area to be analysed later. They left camp at about 1 a.m., planning to join the group working at Nomad on their return. Matt and Mike were to return to camp around 3 a.m. and I was to go out and join them for rock i.d. exercises around 4 a.m.  Around 2:30 a.m. I decided that I should get some sleep, particularly since these plans were so complicated that they might not work at all. I was able to sleep until about 5 a.m., when everyone came in from the field. Ice in the zen hose of the generator had given them trouble again, but the problem had been dealt with. We had a breakfast of scrambled frozen eggs, toast with peanut butter, and coffee. Pascal, Liam and Sib then went back to Nomad and obtained 9 rock spectra. Stewart, Alex and I went out at about 12 Noon and found Liam and Pascal waiting for us, asleep on the ice. I should explain parenthetically that we all dress very warmly and we have many layers of clothing, some of it stuffed with goose down, between us and the cruel world. So lying down on the ice without freezing is feasible.

Stewart drove up to the Camp Crickett tent, were Sib taught him how to record spectrum data. Sib, Liam and Pascal returned to camp and we continued taking spectroscopic data. The weather was absolutely fine, with no wind on the Patriot Hills blue ice field and very little, even, at Camp Crickett. We were able to work efficiently because of the good weather, and brought the total number of rock spectra up to 42. We stopped when we had no more collecting bags.

We had a little time on our hands and Stewart had wanted to take some stereo photos of the ice looking in the up-sun direction, with and without polarizing filters. Alex helped him with this, and we still got back in time for dinner -- doubly important because we had missed lunch. Later that evening I realized I had made a bad mistake -- because of the great weather during the day I had taken off my balaclava and gotten a bad sunburn on my nose and cheeks. This will be bothersome for a couple of days.

 Due to intensive use over the last few days, each of Nomad's four computers was pretty full of data, so time was spent during the evening to download all Nomad's computers and upload the data onto CDs that Matt burned in.