Friday, February 22, 2013

Weather: Con 2

Condition 2 today, that means the weather's worse than usual down here in Antarctica and no planes are flying today. The freedom birds, the planes to get us off the island, have been weather cancelled two days in a row. Lots of anxious people waiting to get out of here...good luck, maybe tomorrow.

I drove out to Pegasus this morning in white out conditions to get the control tower crew since the airfield is closed.

Two days ago, clear blue skies and quite cold.

Photo from the drivers seat, a whiteout.

Total whiteout from milepost 6-13, couldn't see 25 feet.
Driving at 3 mph and hoping I'm on the road...
At Pegasus a bit more visibility but lots of blowing snow.

Blowing snow and big drifts.

The Galley, the orange building, is only 16' away.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Views around McMurdo today

It's a beautiful day here in McMurdo, so after work a walk was in order.  Here are some thoughts, in pictures, just for you.

Unloading "cans" or containers from the Ocean Giant.
We unloaded 679, and will load about 577.

C-17 with friends leaving for Christchurch.

View of McMurdo from T-Site above town.

Seals, seals, seals!

Mt Erebus, smokin' hot (well, a little steam).

Big wheel.

Door no more, so, blue.

Icebreaker's done its job!

Whale spouts on the lower ice edge.

There are only a few ways to see Antarctica,
by cruise ship, or by getting a job and working here.

A nice way to go if you can afford it.

Observation (Ob) Hill from T-site.

Sunday, February 17, 2013


Every year a ship comes to McMurdo to deliver supplies and take away retro (trash, old & broken equipment, etc).  Here are some images of the process. The Ocean Giant is 545 ft long, 80 feet wide and was build in 2012.

The "Ocean Giant" at dusk ready for unloading.

 Trucks waiting for containers from the ship.

Ready to go...

Two trucks heading up the hill to the cargo yard.
The containers on the pad are waiting to be loaded onto the ship.

Unloading containers.

Sorting thru the crates from the containers.

Helium for our weather balloons.

Cargo yard.

Open Water

Here are some images of the open water off Hut & Sausage Point, McMurdo, Antarctica. In early December we were driving on the ice to the ice runway over this water.  Times change. We've seen lots of whales, both Minke and Orca's, in these waters lately. 



Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Ships are arriving at McMurdo!

First the Russian Icebreaker "Vladimir Ignatyuk", then the research vessel "Nathanial B. Palmer", next comes the tanker "Maersk Peary" and finally the resupply vessel the "Ocean Giant".  It all means the end of the summer season here in Antarctica.  The field camps are all closed down and the South Pole flights stopped yesterday. Folks are leaving with all kinds of travel plans or going home and moving onto the next chapter in their lives.  New places, new adventures and new opportunities.

Vladimir Ignatyuk

Vladimir Ignatyuk

Vladimir Ignatyuk

Nathanial B. Palmer

Nathanial B. Palmer

Nathanial B. Palmer

Maersk Peary

Maersk Peary

Ocean Giant

Ocean Giant

Ocean Giant