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Antarctica » Antarctica » McMurdo Station May 9th 2007

Cleetus, The Red-Dog, Update South America » Antarctica » McMurdo Station By Erin and Eli May 9th 2007A running blog on our redneck dog--Cleetus, whose name hangs in the balance. Votes so far Cleetus: 2 Cletus: 2 Cleatus: 0 Other spellings: 0 As for my location, I may not actually be in Antartica. But as a southern bird-chasing, duck-eating, truck-bed riding red-dog, if I could choose my place of birth, it would be as far south as possible. And I like this McMurdo guy--well, mostly his name. Bring on the Giant Penguins. Here's a bit more on his character to help you cast a reasonable vote. ... read more
I like to......???
Those aren't skis....

Overnight we sailed away from the Antarctic peninsula so we wake feeling a little sad. Kate gets up for early to watch sunrise over a huge tabular glacier. I´m slightly more lazy and get up at 7.30am! In the morning we have a landing at Half Moon Island back on the South Shetlands. We land on a beach and walk along the shore and over some rocks to the tip of the island. There are lots of Chinstraps here and only a few Gentoo´s. Kate is still looking for the perfect penguin shot so we spend some time watching the penguins and their antics. There´s also a large colony of fur seals here. They are not as pretty as the Weddell seals with their mottled belly but there are lots of them and they are very ... read more
Views over the South Shetlands
A Fur Seal
Trying to find the perfect penguin shot

Antarctica » Antarctica » South Shetland Islands February 26th 2007

"Antarctica is a separate world. One can feel its presence in the approaches, sailing south from more temperate climes. Standing on deck, one may follow the reeling albatross, feel the drop in temperature, the bite of the wind and the motion of the waves. Yet it is the presence of ice, from the first occasional fragments, escalating in shape, form and frequency, and finally dominating all else, that brings assurance of arrival in Antarctica" Mark Jones, Wild Ice. We wake up to rain today, typical! We can´t even see down the Beagle Channel - all the mountains are covered in mist. Which is actually quite annoying as our hotel is in a great location on the edge of the channel. We decide not to join our Antarctic tour group on its visit to the local national ... read more
All Aboard
Huge icebergs at sea as we approach the south shetland islands
Claire & Andrea on our first Zodiac ride

Antarctica » Antarctica » McMurdo Station February 9th 2007

I got up early the day before my flight north to climb Ob Hill. I had great weather and it was a nice morning hike. The USCG Polar Star cutter was making passes in the sound breaking up ice. This is the first time I have seen open water in McMurdo Sound!... read more
Erebus fro mOb Hill
McMurdo from Ob Hill

I left South Pole on the 1300 flight back to McMurdo. I took some more photos at the pole marker and said goodbye to this remarkable place, wondering when I would be back. The flight home was easy. 8 souls on board and I got to ride in the cockpit during take off which was really fun. I napped most of the way back to station and arrived in time for a big dinner. Vessel Offload has started and Station is a little bit crazy. Lots of loaders and trucks are moving mil-vans around station and then down to the dock where they are being loaded onto the American Tern Vessel. Most of my friends in town are working night shifts and I think I am ready to head back to Christchurch.... read more
Pole Marker
Ice Sculpture
South Pole International Airport

Today I woke up and drank 2 liters of water before brunch. Fresh fruit, omelettes lots of tasty pastries, a great way to start the day. After Brunch Scotty took a few of us through the tunnels and gave a tour of the off limits underground ice tunnels and facilities. The temperature down there was -66C and by the end my glasses were totally fogged along with the LCD screen on the video camera. I don’t have any pix - Ill have to get them off of the video footage later. I spent a few more hours filming some shots for the seal men movie and for the Herzog unnamed Antarctica film and then showed a prelease screening of Herzog’s Rescue Dawn. After the movie I had just enough time to pack and then get to ... read more
South Pole Greenhouse

This morning I got up in time for breakfast and got a good start to my day. I met Jason, who is the winterover science support tech at pole, at his office at 8:00 to plan for the day. We decided we would prep the site in the morning and hope that cargo would have time to bring the Thermos Flask Box out to the site in the afternoon. We walked over to Cargo and talked with Webster about bringing the flask out in the afternoon. We Borrowed a banana sled and a couple of shovels. Jason offered to pull the sled which was great because today is my second day here at Pole and I have not acclimatized yet. It is -52F out today with windchill, and Im surprised at how long I can work ... read more
Installation site from last year
Digging out the old box

We arrived this morning on Mission P318. It was -28C and -42C with windchill. I unloaded off the plane and people were there to greet me saying that George Blaisdell had asked them to take good care of me. People at Pole are really nice and the station is amazing. I definitely felt the altitude after the walk from the skyway to the station, having to stop and catch my breath. It wasn’t so much the exercise, instead I noticed it most when I was trying to move my body and speak at the same time. I guess that is what that extra 25% oxygen is for. We had a quick in-brief with Beth and then I found my room B1-101. I took a short walk inside the building, and given that it is at ... read more
Inside the C-130
Arriving at South Pole Station
I made it!

Antarctica » Antarctica » McMurdo Station February 1st 2007

I am writing from a C-131 Hercules Ski-plane having just departed McMurdo Station at 1000. We are headed to South Pole Station with 13 souls on board. I left San Francisco on Saturday Jan 27th headed for LAX on a 1650 flight. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to pack very lightly for this trip. I have a travel backpack, laptop case, 2 Pelican cases, one filled with 50lbs of tools, the other with a professional HDV camera setup. I arrived into Auckland on Jan 29th at around 0600 am. After clearing customs and receiving my 9 month New Zealand visitors permit, I collected my belongings at baggage carousel 5 and walked my way over to the domestic terminal for my flight to Christchurch on the South Island. The flight from Auckland to Christchurch is really quick and ... read more
C-17 Interior
C-17 Interior

Antarctica » Antarctica » McMurdo Station February 1st 2007

The next morning I got to the CDC, put on my ECWs and headed over to the terminal to have our flight briefing. The place was packed with Navchaps and it took us a while to get through security and to find all of our seats. The C-17 really is a big step up from flying on C-130s or C-141s. The plane is massive and has pallets of forward facing seats that even recline. There is so much legroom that you wouldn’t want to take commercial air flights ever again. We touched down after just 5 hours in the air, landing out at the Pegasus Runway. Ivan the Terra Bus was waiting there for us, but I made my way over to one of the smaller, quicker shuttles in order to get into town quickly. I ... read more

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