Published: October 9th 2010October 9th 2010
Well I made it, and yes the rumors are true, it is cold. Although surprisingly not as cold as I thought it would be. The departure form Cristchurch was less like an airplane flight and more like a military operation, loud people telling you what to do and many rules and regulations to follow. Considering it was a military operation I guess I can't complain that much. When I went to exit the aircraft upon arrival a strange feeling came over me, I had never been so unaware of what I would see and feel once I walked out the door. I have been skydiving but somehow exiting this plane on the ground was much more nerve-racking then jumping out of the other one. I was totally prepared to be blasted with gail force winds and sub zero temperatures, so I was prepared as such, with multiple layers of cloths and the issued parka “Big Red” which is good down to -100C. Contrary to all my expectations, the weather outside was sunny, warm (for Antarctica Standards) and no wind. I had to shed a million pounds of clothes so I didn't overheat. Imagine being the only one in history to get
They let me sit in the cockpit
heat exhaustion in Antarctica. Anyway I can't say enough about the beauty of this place. Out the window to my right is a landscape dominated by white. In the foreground is the frozen sea ice, where we landed our plane. Imagine that a runway of ice with ocean underneath, I am told soon that this ice will melt and ships will be able to come to the base, at which point they will land the planes elsewhere. In the background is the Royal Society Mt. Range, and it looks menacing. Yes I have pictures, but they don't do much justice, not even close. My first day in camp was eventful, after a quick orientation with room assignments. I unpacked and went to the mess hall for a light dinner. It was light because there was a yoga class immediately following. After I got my yoga on, I decided to check out the bar scene and get my drink on. I found Dar at the coffee house and we split a bottle of wine, and played liars dice. After the bottle was empty it was time to retreat to bed, but not without watching the sun crest behind the mountains. At
This shot is taken from McMurdo looking over the sea ice
this point in the season the sun sets but twilight remains until the sun rises again. As I was taking pictures of the sunset/sunrise I was invited to a local party. A group of people who are responsible for all the fuel on the base where hosting the party and I was the only one that didn't belong. It was kind of strange and I defiantly got the feeling that people form groups here on the base and don't venture too far outside them. That being said I was welcomed by everyone and had a blast with the fuelies as they called themselves. The best part about their party was it overlooked the mountains and the sunset/rise that was happening. I spent a good part of the night staring out the window in awww. As for the work, we are just getting started, trying to get all of our ducks in a row, figuring out where things are and where they need to be. I am looking forward to the time ahead, and although McMurdo is an interesting place I am excited to get out in the field and start the project.
There are more photos below