20 APRIL 1995
We're getting out in stronger winds mainly through necessity, otherwise we'd be stuck inside all the time. We had a reasonable day on Easter Monday, it was only blowing 60 to 70 knots (110 - 128 kilometres per hour). There was no drift snow and it was quite clear. We went out to battle the wind. It was a bit like flying, we put our arms out to the sides and lean into the wind. We'd be angled over about 45 degrees. Margie got knocked around all over the place. It was challenging and fun. We had a big snow fall with heavy drift for a couple of days this week. There were drift lines up to a metre thick. It was very hard to walk around in that. It was like trying to walk in talcum powder. We have been studying the snow. There are lots of different types of snow crystals. When it isn't really cold and windy the snow flakes are large and hexagonal. They have all kinds of different patterns. Sometimes the snow is so light we can blow it away. If it has been cold and really windy the snow looks like grains of sand.
We have tried to make a snow man but the snow is so dry it doesn't stick and we can't form snowballs. When I was out getting snow to melt for water, two fingers on my right hand turned into wooden stumps, they froze. I couldn't feel them at all. It only took about five minutes to happen and I didn't notice it until I cam in the door. I was wiping snow from the door ledge and it was just like using two bits of wood. When my fingers were thawing out there was incredible pain. It lasted for about 5 minutes until the blood started to circulate in the fingers.

We had two days of really high temperatures again this week. It was almost warm, minus 3.5 degrees Celsius. It caused a melt-down inside the hut. All the ice inside was melting and we got water all over the place. Some of our books got wet and we had to use a boating technique to dry them. We took a roll of our precious toilet paper and placed a sheet between every page. I first used this technique in 1993 when I dropped a book in the ocean. I thought it was ruined but a yachtie showed me this toilet paper trick and it works. Margie got an ice axe and chipped the ice off the inside of our windows. So for the first time in a very long time we can see out.

I reported that Boat Harbour had finally frozen over but I was wrong. It is back to water again! There was an intense low pressure system offshore which created a big swell. We haven't seen any big seas in this area for six or seven weeks. We think it's mainly because the sea is frozen for quite a way off shore which acts like a big breakwater. The big seas here make me think that it has broken up off shore, out at sea. Anyway, we had a very big tide at Easter and the combination of the big seas and tide smashed all the ice out of Boat Harbour. There was a full moon during Easter and on a clear night we looked out at the moon over the water with thousands of stars, it was an amazing Antarctic night time scene. It reminded us of home where we have the moon coming up over the water.

I changed my outer pants for the first time in three months. That sounds terrible but there isn't much dirt down here. I've now got a pair of Mont fibre- pile outer pants on. I've changed mine but Margie's still wearing the same pair of pants she has been wearing for the last three months. I also shaved. It is the second time I've shaved since we have been here. We've just finished using our second bar of soap since we've been here. One bar of soap we use for our hands and the other bar we use for our baths. So we have used two bars in three months which is pretty amazing. We don't use much water and that's probably why we aren't using up much soap.

We had strawberry creams for Easter which were nicely gift wrapped in paper with rabbits on it. It was an Easter present packed in our gear by a friend. There were no Easter eggs probably because the package was wrapped before Christmas and there were no Easter eggs in the shops. Hope you had a chance to hear us on the Today Show on Easter Monday. We really like talking on the satellite phone. We are hoping that some Australian company will help us make phone calls to 100 Australian schools soon. We talk to New Zealand students once a week because Telecom New Zealand is sponsoring Expedition Ice-Bound for New Zealand.

It gets light at 8 o'clock in the morning now and by 5 o'clock in the evening it is dark. We had a total of seven hours of sunlight this week. It all came in one day. Our batteries were getting quite low so we had turn on the generator for the first time this week. The best meal of the week: Tinned lambs tongue with vegies. They were unreal. Funnily enough, Mawson fed his men lambs tongues too.

Keep warm,
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