Archive for the ‘McMurdo’ Category

Almost famous

Thursday, December 7th, 2006

We’ve hit the big time now! The Vanguard, the Portland State University newspaper, featured a story on the school’s Antarctic researchers, myself included. I guess the article was published 2 weeks ago, but we are a little behind the times down here.

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Being back in McMurdo is like being in a strange Purgatory. The exhaustion of coming out of the field has hit me (even though this season was much less exhausting than last). Taking a hot shower, wearing clean clothes, and sleeping on a bed really bring out the tired in ya. What is strange about McMurdo is passing through. I am only here 3 days (hopefully). I have some administrative stuff to do like returning gear (which I have largely finished already) and that’s about it. There is so much going on here – people to talk to, science lectures to attend, live music to hear, cosmic bowling to be bowled – that I feel like the country mouse coming to the big city for the first time. However being here for such a short time, it seems hardly worth it to inject myself into town life. So instead I am trying to reflect on the season, avoid catching a cold from the germy masses, finish a book, and slowly decrease my caloric intake. So being here isn’t as nice as being in the field or being in New Zealand, but with the right attitude, it can be an enjoyable stop en route. Oh – and having a bedroom with a window helps.

Next stop, Lake Hoare

Saturday, November 4th, 2006

We managed to get everything completed in town on time, and we are scheduled to fly to Lake Hoare tomorrow morning at 9am. Hopefully the weather will hold and we’ll only be a day behind schedule. Our 4 days in town were busy with countless meetings, videos, tours, etc. Some people asked why we didn’t take it more casually, but all of work is in the field, so we have no reason to stay in town longer than we have to. There was a meeting to welcome us, a meeting to show us the office space at Crary, a meeting to learn how not to trash the environment, a training session on how to use the augers, a meeting to collect all of our field gear and test it all out, a class to review cold weather safety, an appointment to collect our radios, and countless other errands. There was only two of us, so it made for a fair bit of work, but after the complexity of last year’s project and my ignorance of the system last year, it certainly was easier this year to get ready for the field.

There will be 10 people at Lake Hoare this weekend! Taco will be there and there will be a birthday party tomorrow night for two people. So it promises to be an exciting few days. We will start the first few days out on Canada Glacier, and won’t do any traveling until Tuesday when Trevor from FSTP comes out to accompany us on the accumulation zones. Then we’ll get to go on daily helo flights for awhile. I am looking forward to actually doing some work.

Success

Tuesday, October 31st, 2006

We made it to McMurdo successfully today, so the most potentially frustrating stage is behind us. The flight was very smooth and I had a much better seat than last year – I would almost say the flight was enjoyable. I even got to see the cockpit of C-17. The routine of McMurdo life came back almost instantly and it almost feels like I’d never left. Now we are inundated with briefings and meetings for the rest of the week. Hopefully we can get to Lake Hoare by the end of the week, but at this point I am not sure how long we’ll be in town.

We already got to have dinner with Taco and signed up for haircuts on Thursday. I still have to decide to resurrect the MoHawk or just buzz it all off and risk ending up with a new nickname this year. The problem is I’ve been liking my hair long, but that won’t really do for the field, so it’ll be coming off one way or another.

Pictures from the flight will be coming soon, once my laptop graduates from screening.