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November 24th, 2013

Turkey Trot, Diving and Relaxing

by Terry Palmer


After a day of relaxing, I was ready to wake up to a beautiful sunny McMurdo day. Unfortunately, the weather was similar to yesterday - cold, windy and grey. This was not the best timing because this morning was the day that the annual Thanksgiving Turkey Trot was held.  The 'Trot' is a 5 km run almost over to Scott Base and back.  About 80 people ran or walked; many ran in costume to make things more fun. Running uphill into a headwind with a wind chill of -12 ºC (10 ºF) was a challenge, but a tailwind down hill on the way back to some cheering people was awesome.  They had warm water and power bars for us at the end and then all runners got a free souvenir drink bottle. That was extra awesome.

And the race is on! The carrot is winning at this point

Me being happy to be near the finish

After standing around cheering other people finish, I called Andrew and we jumped in the sauna to thaw out. The sauna gets to about 66 ºC (150 ºF) - a slight contrast to the temperature outside.

After a nice Sunday brunch, I went to see what the divers were up to.  They were just getting ready to test some new underwater video cameras so I got my gear together and went out with them.

We dove at the base of Arrival Heights, a place on the other side of Hut Point from the station. The site has a really steep bottom and many huge barrel sponges and other critters. There are also some cool platelet ice formations where the sea ice meets the sea bottom.  Within this interesting zone, there are lots of little fish hiding among the platelets and a few animals that have been frozen by the ice. We dove for half an hour and then decided to head back.  It was a really cool way to spend a couple of hours in the afternoon.

Vince's Cross with Arrival Heights and our dive hut in the background (This photo was taken a few days ago on a nice day)

A photo of the dive site from polarfield.com


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