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Published: April 2nd 2005
Hello everyone, April 2, 2005
We usually work six days a week. However, the first Saturday of the every month in the winter is a non-work day. So I thought I would take some time and upload a few more photo from McMurdo taken during the last month. March is the first month of the austral winter season.
The first photo is a shot of town taken on a nice day a couple weeks ago. Since that time the sun has sunk behind a ridge and will not shine on the foreground of the photo again until spring. The next one is the Winter 2005 Station Photo with 200 or so of the 241 people on station in the photo. Some people, like the fire dispatcher, power plant operator, etc cannot leave their work area to join the photo. A few others don’t like to be photographed, but most people showed up. Having great weather helped the turnout. As you can see from the sign, we are the 50th crew to spend the winter in McMurdo. The first crew stayed here in 1956 as part of the International Geophysical Year. Winter 2006 will be the 50th anniversary of the
McMurdo 50th Winter Over Crew
The Easter Bunny found his way to McMurdo again this year and everyone on station as well as at the Kiwi base down the road, had an Easter basket waiting for them in the morning. The “basket” itself is made from a paper chef’s hat. The night before Easter, Scott Base held an Easter party and encouraged everyone to wear their best Easter bonnet.
Those of you who have “enjoyed” a shot of Ratzeputz will relate fully to the photo of Bill with his best Ratze-face. For those of you who have not enjoyed a short of Ratzeputz, you may want to pick up a bottle on your next trip to Germany. Then again maybe you don’t. Razteputz is made with distilled roots and herbs: mostly ginger. The alcoholic content is high enough to prevent it from ever being sold in the State of Utah.
The next two photos are of Mt. Discovery, which is some 50 miles from Mactown. The photo taken during the middle of the day has a faint line of Fata Morgana running across the middle of the photo. The photo was taken from Pegasus Airfield.
The buildings from William Field
form an orange line across the next photo. The buildings are all moved on top of snow berms to prevent them from being covered in snow during the winter. At the start of summer they are moved in preparation for the resumption of flight operations to Pole and elsewhere.
A view from the summit of Observation Hill of Castle Rock with Mt. Erebus in the background is the next photo. The next several photos are taken from a couple trips on the Castle Rock Loop trail. The last three are taken at the base of the Castle Rock.
Lest you think it’s all fun and games down here, the next three photos are of two of the construction projects ongoing this winter. In general, outdoor construction continues year round at McMurdo. The first two photos are of the Long Duration Balloon (LDB) Construction Site, nicknamed “Little America”. (Little America is the name of an old Antarctica station abandoned years ago.) Each year NASA launches one or two very large balloons from McMurdo which carry scientific payloads into the upper reaches of the atmosphere. These balloons are launched when the circumpolar winds have formed in the summer. The plan
is that the balloon will fly around Antarctica, circling the Pole and pass overhead McMurdo where it will be brought down and the scientific instruments recovered. Some times it works and the balloon is indeed recovered close to McMurdo. Other times the balloon ends up at a less convenient place such as the Dome of Inaccessibility. At any rate, NASA needs some new building to support the LDB Program and we are building them this winter.
The next photo is of the Water Plant. The Water Plant is located next to the Power Plant. The idea is to upgrade both buildings so that they both provide power and water. That way if we lose one building we can still generate electricity and drinking water at the other. The photo is of the Water Plant where they are installing a concrete pad upon which a new diesel powered generator will be placed.
Enough about work. Back to leisure pursuits. Bowling is big entertainment here. We have a two-lane bowling alley with manual pinsetters as you can see in the photo. The lanes are notoriously uneven, but part of the charm, I suppose.
The next photo shows a rundown
looking Quonset hut. This unassuming building is the Coffeehouse. It is one of the centerpieces of community activity. It serves wine in addition to coffee and tea. It’s a great place to hang out. It’s usually quiet there with people playing board games, cards, reading or surfing the Net. There is also a lounge area with large comfortable couches and a big screen TV where DVDs are often shown.
The recycling bins for Dorm 208 (one of the “Upper Case Dorms”) are shown in the next photo. McMurdo has an aggressive recycling program as you can see from the various collection bins. The bisn shown in the photo represent only a fraction of the total waste categories. The bins are labeled clothing, Skua, food waste, mixed paper, glass, aluminum cans, plastic, burnables, cardboard and a construction debris dumpster is located a little behind the others. A Skua is a large seagull like bird. However “Skua” in this case means something entirely different and may be the subject of a future blog entry.
The next photo is of a sunset behind Hut Point. Vince’s Cross was removed by the Kiwi’s on 1 April. It was not an April Fools
Day joke. The wood in the cross has split near a large knot and is being repaired. The cross was erected in 1902 to honor Seaman George T. Vince, the first person to lose his life in McMurdo Sound. The cross was made of English Oak planks from the DISCOVERY.
The final photo shows some of the buildings in downtown McMurdo.
OK I lied. Here are two more photos. The first is checking the every important bowling scores and rankings and the second is a shot of the interior of the Coffeehouse during the recent Open Mike Night. Many people here are amazingly artistic.
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