29th September 1995

Hi kids from the great Southern Land!
There are still no penguins yet! With the long days we've been having, we think they must have started their long swim and walk by now. They start their journey by walking over the packice until they find some open water then they start swimming. Don thinks they will arrive next Friday but I think it will be a few days after that. If they were here now, they would not be having any fun.

It is still very windy with lots of drift snow and a temperature of -21 degrees Celsius. Last Sunday the wind dropped a bit late in the afternoon. The sun was shining on the plateau behind us where the wind was still blowing quite hard. The surface drift was pouring down the ice slopes in long lines which looked like a waterfall. It would then billow up into the air when It reached Cape Denison where Don and I were standing, in absolutely no wind at all. It was quite spectacular to watch. The iceberg which broke off the cliffs when I was singing "Ave Maria" ealier in the year, is moving a little bit on the high tides. It is quite strange to think of something so big, moving at all.

We had an early Christmas on Monday when the wind stopped early in the morning and heaps of snow fell. Beautiful star-patterned crystals where covering everything to approximately 200 metres, until the Katabatic winds started again, blowing it all cut to sea. Temperatures that day rose to -4 degrees Celsius. It was "raining" Heavily inside the hut as all the ice on the roof, walls and windows began to melt. We had to continually mop up the falling droplets from the roof. The worst part was when droplets fell down our backs, inside our clothes. It was freezing and caused us to shiver. The only dry spot in the hut was underneath the bunk. Even there. the seats on the settee were wet and we had to put the cushions into plastic bags.

We both had a bath on Tuesday and now all our waste buckets are full and we can't get out to empty them. The wind has been blowing 70 to 100 knots ever since! Don said I had to tell you that I finally changed my outer fibrepile pants after my bath. I have been putting them on every day for about eight months! I really miss wearing dresses and the pretty clothes I left behind In Sydney. Down here, we dress for warmth. I sure at times Don thinks I'm a boy because we wear virtually the same clothes. I don't have to dress to look good here and my outer pants have been pretty clean. I changed them because my clean pair felt so soft. Please don't think I'm a grub for not changing my pants.

An exciting discovery had us both jumping for joy yesterday. I found half a bag of frozen potatoes in the annexe. We thought there were none left. We are having roast potatoes tonight with our last piece of roast beef.

There have been auroras durlng the past nights and I think I wili miss them when the night goes. At present we still have a twilight in the southern sky until 8 p.m. and we will have 24-hour daylight very soon. The equinox past during this week which usually creates periods of unsettled weather throughout the world and probably explains another weird patch for us! On Wednesday night, a 90 to 100 knot southerly wind stopped blowing for one hour then turned around and to blow 70 knots from the north. It was very strange! We have begun believing that we can expect anything in this part of the world. I am still dreaming of roast chlcken, my favourite and I get a bit upset when I think of all the things my friends will be doing over over weekend in sunny Australia and New Zealand. I miss so many things about spring with all its flowers and colourful birds. When you look at or hear them next, please stop and have an extra look and listen for me.

It's only about 93 days until we see "Spirit of Sydney" Yippee! The total sun for the week was 46 hours Wow!

The funniest part of the week: Don trying to conserve toilet paper. Our best meal for the week: I made Don some pikelets shaped like teddy bear heads.

The worst part of the week; There is still lots of drift when September is supposed to be clear.

The teddy bears I made this week were: Mal who is 10cm and Arthur who is 15cm.

Sorry to the New Zealand schools who had their conference call cancelled after the first question. We are not getting a very strong satellite signal between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Antarctic local time (Sydney time). Hopefully we will catch you all next week. Bye for now from us down here and

Don and Margie
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