In Antarctica, things don't always go as planned! We had originally planned to breakdown the Bot House today and start packaging it up for shipment (via helicopter) to the Dry Valleys. But, the electricians need to do a bit more work on it, so it is not quite ready to be disassembled. In the mean time, the team focused on getting all the rest of their gear, and their personal items, a bit more organized and packed. Flights have already begun taking loads of gear to Lake Bonney!Since I was unable to assist the team with this part of the project - everything has specific places to be packed, I was given time to catch up on some of my UNH homework and edit some of the videos I have been making. The videos below are filmed by Steve Rupp, who is one of the "Dive Guys" here in McMurdo. He has graciously allowed me to post his video footage. On two of the dives, I was right there with him - in fact, you'll see me in the videos. Thanks Steve!

This first video is of ScubaDooba Doo during its maiden Antarctic voyage at Turtle Rock! Steve and I are the divers that can be seen in the video (Steve handed me the camera for a few moments, so I shot some video too!). Steve is in the blue dry suit and I am in the red dry suit. Why do you suppose the red dry suit looks less vivid in color than the blue one? (answer is below, but see if you can figure it out!)

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This second video is of a mother/pup pair of Weddell Seals that we got to swim with at Turtle Rock. Steve's footage is much clearer than mine! If you're wondering, the diver in the background is me! I wanted to also be sure you know that in the video there is a section that looks like a spotlight is being shown upwards from below. It is actually a sunbeam shining down through a crack in the ice from above and REFLECTING off the bottom! The bright spot is the reflected light - it looks really bright!

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This last video was taken by Steve at Turtle Rock a few days before our Turtle Rock trip together. This clip is a nice example of what it's like to swim with the seals. They often swim right up to us! It's spectacular!

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So....Why does my bright red dry suit look so pale in comparison to Steve's blue suit?

As light penetrates into the water, the various wavelengths of light get absorbed at different depths. They basically get absorbed as one descends deeper into the water in the same order as the colors of the rainbow (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet). What's the first color to get absorbed? Red! Thus my bright red suit looks almost brown in places. In shallower water, or when a flashlight shines on it, it appears to be more red - shallower water, less absorption!

You can also check out my journals and pictures from previous seasons at: http://www.ryejrhigh.org/ellwood

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