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Rachel peered over the rail as the hydrofoil eased into a slip at a floating dock. Whalebones on the floor of the bay, from the days whaling ships used the harbor, could be seen through the clear water. As usual, the beach near the dock was bustling with penguins. A Snow-Cat, a sleek, bullet-shaped vehicle with yellow stripes painted on it, was parked just above the beach line.
As they disembarked and started up the beach toward an awaiting Snow-Cat, some of the gentoo penguins scattered, lurching and stumbling over the cobblestones. Others raised their bright orange beaks in protest.
“The penguins seem particularly jumpy today,” remarked one of the crew. “Like something spooked them during the night.”
Two men unloaded what looked like a body bag from the Snow-Cat and loaded it on the hydrofoil.
In the distance beyond a ridge, Rachel noticed a small hut silhouetted by the low sun. “That’s the Argentinean hut,” said Antonio, shouldering his overnight bag. After saying a quick farewell to them, he slipped on a pair of snowshoes and headed up to the hut.
“All aboard,” one of the men said. He reached out a hand and helped Rachel climb up into the cab of the Snow-Cat.
From her seat on the Snow-Cat, Rachel could see the skittish penguins watching the receding vehicle wind its way up to Shackleton Station. What had upset them? The very air seemed to bristle with angst. She glanced over at Trevor sitting across from her, but he didn't seem to notice anything amiss.
Judith Boss (née Wager) was born in the village of Honeoye Falls, south of Rochester, New York in the heart of wine country. She attended elementary school in Irondequoit, where her family moved when she was two.
When not in school, she enjoyed wandering the woods and fields around her home and picking beans for 25¢ a basket for Mr. King, who owned the truck farm behind her house. She also loved hiking and camping and was active in the Girl Scouts throughout high school.
An avid writer, when Judy was 11 years old she wrote and illustrated her first “novel," a story about her beloved parakeet “Sparky." My Little Sparky was followed by several other short novels and a book of poems.
Following graduation from high school, Judy attended the University of Rochester for a few years before dropping out and emigrating to Australia. Both of Judy’s daughters were born in Australia. She also finished her B.A. in philosophy and anthropology at the University of Western Australia.
From Australia, the family moved to Nova Scotia, Canada for graduate school. After graduate school, Judy worked for eight years as a writer/researcher for the Nova Scotia Museum. In 1979, Judy and her two daughters moved to Newport, Rhode Island where she continued to work as a writer. She also worked as a lecturer for several years at the University of Rhode Island before going back to full-time writing.
Judy currently lives in rural Rhode Island with her family and Corgi. An avid traveler, she has traveled with students from the University Of Rhode Island and Brown Medical School to work with undeserved, indigenous people in Guatemala and Mexico. Her favorite travel destination, however, is Antarctica.
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