Wednesday, November 30, 2011

McMurdo Shuttles

Dispatch, October 28, 2011

It's very COLD here every day (duh, what did you expect?)  The wind is especially bitter and biting. The wind chills make it feel like's it's 40 below.  I dress in 3 or 4 layers and my face, hands and feet are always cold. As an example: a pair of sock liners, lightweight wool socks and then heavyweight wool socks and boots. Long underwear tops and bottoms, poly shirt, wool shirt and insulated bid overalls.  When i go outside I add glove liners, gloves, neck gaiter, baklaca, wool cap, big red parka and sometimes goggles.  If the wind isn't blowing too bad it's not too bad.

I work in Shuttles as an operator, Shuttles is part of MCC which is part of ATO.  We use a lot of abbreviations and are on military time here at McMurdo.  Since this is an old Navy base a lot of military slang is still in use, for example the dining hall is called the galley.  The Shuttles office is in building 140, where Cargo and the post office are located.  I get to see Dave, Kelly , Kathy and Amy most every day, so that's cool.  I live upstairs in building 155 (Big Blue) and that is where the galley, store, library, computer room, laundry, barber and craft room are located.  It's very convienent and I work just across the street.

There are 26 Shuttle drivers and we all get along fine.  Well honestly, there are one or two that are a bit challenging.  I work 12 hour days and the days are split up between 4 or 5 different job tasks, so you never have to do any one thing all day.  It adds variety and prevents burnout and I think its great!  As an example, today I did 4 hours of town taxi, 3 hours of dispatch, a happy camper pick up and 3 hours of Airfield shuttle runs.

Pressure ridges near Scott base.

The blue Highway, the snow ice road to the airfield.

McMurdo dorm made famous by the Eagles (only kidding).

The front of building 140, the ATO, MCC and Shuttles.

The McMurdo Post Office.  Kathy, an old friend from Alaska, is the Postmaster.

The FNG's, Adrian, Elisha and Melanie in the Shuttles office.

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