Edit Blog Post
Published: February 7th 2005
The Supply Vessel
The ability to keep McMurdo Station running lies with this ship, which relies on the icebreakers to clear a channel through the sea ice to the ice pier.
The past week has been a very busy one here, because of the supply vessel offload. During offload many peoples’ jobs shift to suit the needs of the station and the structure of the town changes - there are new off limits areas, the traffic and noise have greatly increased and most of the recreational activities have ceased. There are trucks and forklifts running twenty-four hours a day carrying the supplies that will be needed to run the station for the next year - food, maintenance materials, construction supplies and any thing else required for work or for fun, it all comes on the supply boat. The incessant, roaring drone of the trucks and heavy equipment, most of which are relics from the early Navy days, and the constant ‘beep, beep, beep’ of the back-up alarms make sleeping difficult. Everyone realizes, of course, that all of the noise and activity are necessary for the continued operation of the town, so those of us that are not involved with the ship stay out of the way. For many people, the arrival of the ship means the end of their season has arrived. Over the next few weeks’ planeloads of summer workers will
The Last Flight of the C-141
Since this picture is a little blurry, I will call it an action shot. This is the last C-141 flight, to the Antarctic region, leaving - The end of a long run with the US Antarctic Program.
be streaming off of the Ice and heading toward warmer latitudes and their vacation destinations, beginning new adventures and generally having fun until it is time to return.
Earlier in the week the last Antarctic flight for the C-141, the same type of plane I flew in on my way down here, happened. Being very old, these planes are being retired from Antarctic service, which is very hard on aircraft, after around twenty years of supporting the US Antarctic Program. They are being replaced by C-17’s, which can carry considerably more weight and are apparently a lot more comfortable on the inside than the C-141’s are. The plane chosen to do the last flight was also the first of the C-141’s to fly down here, so it was a special occasion - The plane took off from Pegasus runway and did a low fly-by over the icebreaker Polar Star, which was anchored in the sea ice, tipped it’s wing and flew North for the final time.
Also, this week I saw my first storm in Antarctica and, although it wasn’t a storm of the caliber that this continent is famous for, it was still fun and I got
The Hungry Skua
Here is the skua that wanted my ice cream cone.
a couple inches of snow to play in as well. During the storm, I stood on the porch of the dining hall and ate an ice-cream cone, drawing the interest of a hungry skua. The skua put on its best ‘PLEASE, I need your Ice cream to survive’ face and proceeded to beg - its begging skills were well honed, almost as good as Oliver’s, my dog back home. After several minutes lapsed and the cone began to shrink away, the skua gave up on begging and walked up to me, its muscles flexed and its eyes locked with mine, and put on an expression of ‘GIVE ME THE ICE CREAM NOW OR ELSE!’ and it started tapping its webbed foot on the ground trying to intimidate me. Ignoring the skua’s threats, I quickly gobbled down the rest of the cone, dashing its hopes of having desert, and I walked back inside. What the skua didn’t realize, of course, was that by law I am not allowed to feed it, but by the same law, I would not be allowed to stop it from taking the ice cream from my hand (I suppose the simple act of eating an ice
Ob Hill After a Snow Fall
After the storm I climbed up to the top of Ob Hill to get away from the noise in the town. I stayed up there for nearly an hour, enjoying the view while bracing myself in the wind.
cream outside and inadvertently gaining the attention of the skua could be construed as breaking the law as well) - A missed opportunity for the skua! I climbed Ob hill after the storm and sat in the snow for a while and listened to the town with all of the traffic and the noise from the planes and helicopters - it could be any town in America.
Tot: 1.558s; Tpl: 0.044s; cc: 22; qc: 111; dbt: 0.0707s; 1; m:saturn w:www (188.8.131.52); sld: 2;
; mem: 1.8mb