12. Nov. 7, 1998, Saturday:
Pirrit Hills Camp
Blowing a gale from the south. This could continue for 24-36 hours before calming. Snow is blowing along the ground and there is no surface definition that would allow a plane to land. Nothing to do but crawl deeper into the sleeping bag and go back to sleep. Try for a record. By around 6 or 7 p.m. we get a call for dinner. Dinner is somewhat subdued, compared to past days, as everyone is getting a sense of how vulnerable we are in our present situation. Bufalo pulls out an old letter and reads and rereads it, setting it aside then, to ponder with the "thousand-mile stare" whatever thoughts have been generated by the reading. He doesn't tell us what they are. Back to bed then, to sleep shallowly dreaming sexy dreams and, later, semi-nightmares. Sometime in the wee hours, when the wind has begun to die down, Pascal and Chano take the bicycles and pedal across the west moraine into the adjacent basin, hoping against hope that they will find meteorites there. No such luck.
Patriot Hills Camp
Got up for lunch. The day was very cloudy with very poor visibility. There has been no communication from the Pirrit Hills group, so the planes will leave to pick them up as soon as the weather is good enough to fly.
During the day there was a snow storm, with 50 km/hr winds. Alex took his first radar readings, with a horizontally directed signal designed to supplement the laser scanner when there is a lot of snow in the air. The camera mounted on the radar sensor showed only flying snow; the radar data, to be analyzed later, will be of great interest in comparison.
Mike and Sib were operating Nomad during the storm, carrying out some tests They report that it operated well; Alex retired early and heard the robot operating near his tent until quite late.