3 December 2018 Seals and Pressure Ridges!

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what type of seals were those?


Landen, They are Weddell seals. If you look back at the journal that may have been mentioned several times? There is a link in the last paragraph to my friend Bridget Ward's expedition that is all about Weddell Seals.

Riley Whipple
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Hello Mr.Peen i would like to know when you see the black flags are you afraid of standing on a crack in the ground or are you most afraid of falling into a crevasses. And if there was to be a lot of wind and you get lost what would you do.


Riley, As far as the crevasses go, I was just fine when I saw the flags because then I knew exactly where the cracks were! They are very careful here about keeping up to date on weather conditions. If it looks like the weather will be bad we aren't allowed to go far away from town. If the weather gets bad when you are out we will check in with our radios and stay put and wait for the weather to improve.

Aubrielle Costi...
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Ryan and I keep asking, "What about the stinky seals?"

Stinky Seals

Aubrielle, Believe it or not, they DID stink! We are not allowed to get too close to them, but we got close enough to smell them. There was a fair amount of seal poop laying around too (I took a picture but thought it would be a little too graphic to post on my journal ;-)) so I'm not sure if we could smell the seal themselves or the seal poop. I don't have a great sense of smell and I COULD smell them...so that should tell you that they definitely have an odor! Here is my friend Bridget's Weddell Seal expedition page to learn more about them. https://www.polartrec.com/expeditions/antarctic-automatic-weather-statio...

Garrett Penn
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fuel lines and battery caches

Hey Dad, you said that blue flags marked fuel lines and caches. Most vehicles are diesel on the ice correct? How do they keep the fuel from freezing. also the batteries is there a small heater in the cache to extend the battery life or are the caches insulated enough underground? I think i saw a yeti cooler in another picture is that a cache?

Fuel lines

Garrett, (my son!) that is a good question! Diesel ( -25˚F with anti-gel additives) has a higher gel point than gasoline (-44˚F) ... I know that when it gets to "Condition 1" (Severe weather is in progress. All personnel must remain in buildings or the nearest shelter. Winds greater than 55 knots sustained for one minute, or visibility less than 100 feet sustained for one minute, or wind chill greater than -100°F sustained for one minute.) so I guess it isn't a thing because we aren't supposed to be out in those conditions anyway. The batteries in the vehicles are heated (plug in) with simple wraps. I read somewhere that South Pole Station runs almost exclusively on JP-8 (a type of jet fuel) which has a gel point of -47˚F. It depends on what time of year on whether it is insulated under "ground". Like a cave in a temperate zone, underground at the pole is a constant -58˚...so I'm not sure since that is below the gel point of all of the fuels. We are flying about 500 Miles to the grid west tomorrow, so I'll have lots of time to ask the pilot. I'll get back to you on this!

Aubrielle Costic
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Ryan urban
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Why did you mention me
Ryan urban
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Why did you mention me
Miranda Penn
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Weddell Seals

The sun is constantly up right now but as the season ends and constant darkness approaches during the winter are there a few days where it is a 24-hour sunset sky (that would be really cool)? Also, the seals come out of the ocean through cracks in the ice near pressure ridges. Do they ever get confused and wander into a crevasse or accidentally fall into them? They may be smarter than that but they don't really look it. Looks awesome, love ya!

Weddell Seals and twilight

Miranda (My daughter!), Yes, there ARE days that are sunset in the Antarctic Autumn and sunrise in the Antarctic Spring as the sun slowly sets or rises. Sunset here is February 20, 2019 01:46 AM and at the South Pole it is March 23, 2019 01:33 PM. I don't know the answer to the seals falling into crevasses question...although I doubt that they move very far from the hole they came up through. They are pretty slug-like on the surface! I just googled "Antarctic Sunset" and there are lots of pretty photos and youtube videos of the sunset. I love you too!

Ryan urban
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Stinky seals

Mr.Penn how many stinky seals have you see, also an a scale of 1 to 10 how much do the seals stink

Abby Post
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How many seals have you seen so far?

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Mike Penn's picture

Journal Details

Location: Scott Base (New Zealand base), Antarctica
Latitude: 77° 50' 51.72" S
Longitude: 166° 45' 36.72" E
Weather Summary: Cold and breezy
Temperature: 5˚ F
Wind Chill: -12˚ F
Wind Speed: 10 knots

Antarctic Automatic Weather Stations 2018 Journals

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