Saturday, October 25, 2014


"People don't go to Antarctica. They are called to Antarctica."

Here are some random shots from my first days on the ice.

Pressure ridges at Scott Base.

A van on the road at Scott Base (NZ).

The road near the transition on a sunny day. 
The transition is from Ross Island to the Ross ice shelf.

The ice road covered in new snow at Silver City.

Castle Rock.

Menu sign in Galley, "Pure Deliciousness".

Condition 2 weather.

More condition 2 weather.

LDB (Long Duration Balloon) payload assembly buildings.
The tallest buildings on skis in the world.
We plan to launch 3 balloons this season.

After a week of storms, snow in the galley.

Ann and another pile of snow inside.

Ray is operating the excavator

removing snow piles

digging out the galley at LDB.

Christchurch, NZ

On the way to McMurdo, we get to stop in Christchurch for a couple of days.  It's a beautiful city in a wonderful country.  The devastating earthquake in 2011 has reinvigorated the city.  It's re-creating itself and will be even more amazing when all the new construction is done.  I stayed in a hotel downtown and really enjoyed it.  We had an extra day in town due to bad weather in McMurdo.  Lots of time for hikes, walks in the Botanical Gardens, time at the beach and lots of great food.

Relaxing green parks.

Lots of construction going on.

Stone churches were devastated.

New construction.

Tearing down damaged buildings.

Major damage to the Cathedral.

The ReStart shopping district.

The Rose garden.

The Avon River.

Flower beds in the Botanical gardens.

Building Art.

Travel Time

I left my summer seasonal job in Healy, Alaska for my other summer seasonal job in McMurdo, Antarctica recently.  After 56 hours of travel time, 28 in the air, I arrived safely at Pegasus ice runway on a USAF C-17 cargo jet.   A mix of driving, flying commercial and military and riding on the Kress, got me to McMurdo.  Here's pictures of our departure in Christchurch, the USAF C-17 and landing on the Pegasus ice runway near McMurdo.

I flew from LAX to SYD on a Qantas Airbus 380.

I flew from SYD to CHC on an Emirates Boeing 777.

Checking in with all our gear in Christchurch.

The gang in line to check in.

The briefing room while many were at breakfast.

Picking up our bag lunches and loading up.

Serena, my big red, Ashley and Chris.

Trying to get comfortable enough to sleep.
It's usually about a five hour flight.

 Landing on ice in the USAF C-17.

Arriving in Antarctica.

The Kress, passenger version.

The Kress.