Saturday, October 29, 2016

Exploring McMurdo

Date:  Sunday October 30, 2016
Time: Around 11AM NZDT
Temp: -4F (-20C)
Windchill: -26F (-32C)

One of the things you learn about the Antarctic program down here is that you have to be patient and make the best of the current situation.  In particular, you never know when your plans will change.  Actually, your plans are more likely to change than stay the same!  That being said, I was scheduled to arrive at the South Pole yesterday, but due to some aircraft issues we have been delayed.  There are definitely worse places to be delayed, though.

There are tons of things to do around McMurdo if you are willing to explore.  One of my favorites this time around has been the touch tank. There are a bunch of small aquatic animals you can pick up and look at and hold.  Some look kinda freaky. 





If you are big into outdoor activities there are lots of things to do in your off time.  There are a few places to hike or ski.  Before you can do that, though, you have to go through some training.  This basically consists of watching a 20 min video about how not to do stupid things and then a power point presentation with some details about who you have to notify if you go to certain places and such.  Antarctica is a dangerous place, and there isn't a huge medical facility here.  So if you get hurt or wonder off into a protected area or even fall into a crevasse you could be in serious trouble.  But that doesn't mean you can't do anything challenging or adventurous.  There is a big hill near by that I went up yesterday called Observation Hill or Ob Hill for short.  If you can get to the top, you are rewarded with an amazing view, but it is one of those places that can be very dangerous so you have to be careful.


The view of the hill from the ground


There were a few people on the way down before we started up

 

 The view of McMurdo from the top!


There is a memorial for Scott and his men who died after they journeyed to the South Pole


Hut Point from Ob Hill (more pictures of Hut Point hopefully coming soon!)


Mt Erebus in the distance


There are a couple other places that I visited last time I was here, and I am hoping to be able to get over and see them again, but I tried to walk over a little bit ago, and the wind had picked up so that might have to wait a bit.  To be honest, the cold isn't that bad.  The wind is what is really uncomfortable.

I will be adding more pictures as I am able.  Usually, I like to get a few pics up that I am actually in, but I have been going out with other people who have cameras, and I end up having them take pictures of me with their camera.  As soon as we can all get together and share our pics, I will have more, but that may have to wait until we start getting settled at the South Pole.  In the mean time, I am going to try to get a few more around McMurdo so keep watching for more!  I am also creating albums and linking to them in the sidebar on the right.  There are more pictures there, and those albums will be growing or increasing in number anyway.


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