11 AUGUST 1995

Big excitement this week. We had visitors or nearly! We spoke via HF radio to the "Aurora Australis," Australia's Antarctic resupply ship which is cruising the pack ice doing research this winter. It is the first time they have done research in winter and they came within 150 miles to the north-west of Commonwealth Bay. Down here that's practically neighbours. There told us they had 26 crew and 40 expeditioners on board including scientists, marine biologists and weather people.

On Thursday they launched helicopters and found a big open water hole in the pack which was full of life including 300 Adelie penguins, 30 killer whales and calves, some Weddell and Leopard seals.

Margie asked the "Aurora" about their dinner menu. They told her they had just eaten Chicken Wellington, vegetarian pasta and pork cutlets with horseradish sauce. It must have frightened her off or made her green with envy because she didn't ask her favorite questions which are always about hot showers and sweets.

Margie's birthday was fun. We had a big party on Saturday, the 5th of August. 17 of the teddy bears attended the party all dressed up in party hats, streamers and signs. The menu included 27 sausage rolls and a huge chocolate birthday cake with jam and cream in the middle. Lots of friends rang on the satellite phone to wish Margie "Happy Birthday." We really enjoyed the birthday party and "pigged out." We both felt a little sick at the end of the day but that's how birthday parties with "pig outs" usually end even in Antarctica.

We spoke with Australian schools this week for our first two conference calls. Five schools were able to ask us questions while other schools listened in. We took almost 1000 students on this "Electronic Field Trip to Antarctica." New Zealand students have had these conference calls since February because Telecom New Zealand has created a whole year of interesting projects involving Expedition Ice-Bound.

We spoke with ten schools this week and lots more were listening in. Mary Ann put all the questions and answers on the ICEJOURNAL.BB for you to see. Check it out and you'll see what winter has been doing to us. We are looking forward to 1 Spetember, the first day of Spring. Well, calendar spring, anyway. She told me that Millthorpe Public School, Mr. Haynes class was on Prime Television in western New South Wales from Cobar to Lithgow! Wow! Kamora School in Davidson, NSW got in the Manly Daily; Menai Public School, NSW was in the Sutherland Shire Leader and; Middle Harbour Public School in Mosman, NSW was filmed by Channel 7 in Sydney. The Middle Harbour Public School was on Channel 7 in Brisbane too. St. Ita's at Dutton Park and Springwood Central both listened to Don and Margie talking to Middle Harbour. So the satellite phone call was on telvison. Margie and I sit here thinking of Mawson. Wow! Mary Ann says reports are still coming in from schools. That's great. I'm really glad your schools had a chance to be in the newspaper or on television or radio. It makes the world seem closer. We did a call on 10 August with high schools. One of them was Maryborough State High in Queensland. I had to tell the students that Peter Wyatt is Margie's brother (Mary Ann probably didn't put that in the questions and answers.) Then I told them that he wants me to give him fishing lessons because the fish I always catch bigger fish than he does. ABC radio was taping the call and SEQ Television was filming. Whoops!

We learned that Kingscliff High School in New South Wales near the Queensland border, has three students attending the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) Global Youth Forum in Berkeley, California this week. 2000 young people from around the world are discussing ways of protecting the environment. Mr. Peter Langley, their science teacher learned about the United Nations Environment Program on the Internet. The Prime Minister, Mr. Keating, says he will listen carefully to the ideas and conclusions coming out of the UNEP Global Youth Forum. We look forward to hearing from the Kingscliff students when they get back.

We use the Keylink and Nexus computer networks in Australia and the Internet to send the journal to New Zealand. 2600 American schools will join us in September and we wanted a network to serve them. They suggested America Online or Prodigy but those networks aren't used by Japanese students. Several Japanese schools have been following our journals and they are sent on CompuServe. So, next week we will become "information providers" on the PACIFIC FORUM on CompuServe. This will give people and students in 62 countries the chance to have a look at these journals that you read. We may even get the opportunity to put photographs on CompuServe when we get our digital photo transmission working. We are still just testing. "COMPUTER LIVING" In Australia the August issue of " Computer Living" magazine has an article about how Roseville Primary School in NSW is using Expedition Ice-Bound and these journals. The magazine is aimed at us regular computer people rather then the computer whiz types. I can't wait to see it when I get back. We miss magazines.

Both Margie and I are dreaming a lot lately. We have had some nightmares with people chasing us which is quite strange. Our blizzard sticks leading to the water's edge have been buried by drift snow over the past few days. There has been lots of snow. The weather has been quite unusual overall with northerly gale of 50 knots and one complete day of fog. It was frustrating as we knew the sun was shining brightly above the fog bank with not clouds. The sea out front is frozen over. Two days this week we went out walking. There is sunshine now! The sun comes up around 9 o'clock and sets around 4 in the afternoon. We have been going to bed earlier and getting up with the sun. We had 11 hours of actual shining sun this week. We are looking forward to 1 September because it will mark the first day of spring.

Keep warm,
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