Blogs from Antarctica, Antarctica - page 29


Antarctica » Antarctica January 21st 2006

"Polar exploration is at once the cleanest and most isolated way of having a bad time which has been devised. It is the only form of adventure in which you put on your clothes at Michaelmas and keep them on until Christmas, and save for a layer of the natural grease of the body, find them as clean as though they were new. It is more lonely than London, more secluded than any monastery." (The worst journey in the world; Apsley Cherry-Garrard) The Antarctic is a land of extremes. It´s the highest continent, with an average elevation of 2250m. Its ice sheets hold 90% of the worlds ice which is up to 4775m thick and in places the huge weight depresses the landmass by 1600m. The lowest recorded temperature on the continent was -89C. Its an ... read more
Humpback Whale
Gentoo penguins - Brown Bluff
Elephant Seals at Hannah Point, Livingstone Island

Antarctica » Antarctica » McMurdo Station January 15th 2006

Saturday was spent moving to a new room, dealing with Science Cargo, and returning comms equipment. To retrograde our cargo for return by sea vessel, we had to weigh, measure, and bind all of our crates onto new pallets. We were almost finished with science cargo by lunch time and took only a half an hour to finish up afterwards. Saturday evening, there was a party at the Helo pad. While at the party, the Russian ice breaker, the Krasin, returned. It came in quickly and quietly. Sunday, part of our group walked down to Scott’s Hut. Jennifer saw a penguin Saturday night and we were hopeful. Alas, the penguin had evaded us again. These sly little devils must know when I am coming and go hide. Once I leave, I am sure they mock me ... read more
Rugby: Kiwis vs. Yanks
Rugby: Ambulance Standing By

Antarctica » Antarctica » McMurdo Station January 15th 2006

Amy Shields, a graduate student with Dr. Kam Tang of William and Mary College, showed me around her lab and told me about her research with a particular type of phytoplankton called Phaeocystis antarctica. This tiny one-celled plant is at the bottom of the marine Antarctic food chain, but not much is known about this particular species. This organism has a period where it wanders around as a single cell, but later it seems to clump together with others of its species into a colony and secrete mucous to hold the colony together. The colonies are yellowish. They take up carbon and produce volatile organic sulfur into the water. The group is looking at whether the solitary forms differ from the group forms in growth, composition or photosynthetic rates. They also are looking at how the ... read more
Colonial p. antarctica
Bottle with Colonies of Organism
Amy & Dr. Tang Take Samples

Antarctica » Antarctica » McMurdo Station January 14th 2006

This is the only penguin I have seen since I have been in Antarctica. The sea ice is extensive and thick and penguins require open water. I guess there is a huge Adelie penguin colony over at Cape Royds, but there the sea ice is so unstable that only researchers with business there can go. So I include these photos of the lone Adelie I saw on Jan 14 as well as a few photos by people who were at Cape Royds earlier in the year. ... read more
Adelie Penguin 2
Adelie Penguin 3
Adelie Penguin 4

Antarctica » Antarctica » McMurdo Station January 13th 2006

Friday the 13th, a day often associated with bad luck, turned out to be very lucky for our team. We left WAIS early (about 12 hours earlier). Due to bad weather at South Pole, WAIS received an additional flight. The flight did not take too long. Upon arrival at Williams Field, I was disappointed at the lack of support. We were not allowed on the shuttle so that Air Guard personal can change shifts. Since it was toward the end of dinner time, we had to eat at the Williams Field Galley. The food was good, but I would have expected an additional shuttle to pick up our flight. I was stunned with how many mountains were around McMurdo. I know I was only here about two week ago, but compared to WAIS’s bleak landscape, this ... read more
Last Look at Camp

Antarctica » Antarctica » McMurdo Station January 11th 2006

A look at Robert Falcon Scott's Discovery Hut erected at Hut Point just outside of McMurdo. It was primarily used for storage and entertainment for the Scott party, but served as a residence for some months for Shackelton's group. If you would like to know more about this hut, I recommend the NZ Heritage Trust site at read more
Fur Clothing Remenants
Crate of Dog Biscuits
Close-Up of Dog Biscuits

Antarctica » Antarctica » McMurdo Station December 28th 2005

Tuesday morning, we woke up early so that we could make sure that we had time for breakfast. We were warned that we would need as much fuel as possible to keep ourselves going during Happy Camper School. At about 9am, we met the Field and Safety Training Classroom on the second floor of the science support center. We were introduced to our two instructors Trevor and Cecilia (CC), and then went around the room and introduced ourselves and our previous camping activities. We went through some discussion on staying warm and handling cold injuries. At about 10:15, we packed up a hagueland (amphibious tracked vehicle) and a Piston Bully (tracked vehicle). We took these vehicles out to the instructors hut (i-hut), which is located out on the McMurdo Ice Shelf near Williams (Willie) Field. Once ... read more

Antarctica » Antarctica » McMurdo Station December 26th 2005

The 26th and 27th we have had an opportunity to learn how to survive on the ice. It is called Safety and Survival School or "Happy Camper" school. It is hard work and learning, but is quite informative and gives us great practice in the skills we will need in the remote field camp. ... read more
Jim Ross
Joel P. at Scott Base
Pressure Ice Near Scott Base

Antarctica » Antarctica » McMurdo Station December 26th 2005

These photos were taken by others in the group attending Happy Camper School at the same time our team did. They show some other aspects of Happy Camper... read more
Quinzee Building
Quinzee Building2

Antarctica » Antarctica » McMurdo Station December 25th 2005

This morning Joel and I tackled Ob Hill. The hill has an elevation change of about 750 ft. This does not seem like much, but it was quite steep. Halfway up, the annual Obs Hill Race occurred and I was passed by about 18 individuals that were in much better shape than I was. Their times spread from about 7-13 minutes. I took about 30-40 minutes, but I made it none the less. At the Summit, I took some photos of the camp below. From the hill, I was finally able to get a glimpse of Erebus. Since it was overcast, however, I could not capture Erebus very well in any of the photos. The white snow covering the mountain blends quite well in the bright white sky. At 5pm, our team attended the Christmas Dinner. ... read more
Scott Base from Ob Hill
Castle Rock and Erebus
McMurdo from Above

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