Oct. 30, 2015: Working in severe weather conditions is a common experience in Antarctica. We landed under clear but hazy skies, weather conditions about -5°F with 15-20 knot winds. Over the next two hours, conditions worsened to -15°F with 40 knot winds. When visibility dropped to 50ft, the pilot ordered a rapid pullout, leaving the station’s servicing unfinished.
Our bags are packed and checked, but weather at Yesterday Camp canceled our flight today. Hopefully we’ll be flying to camp tomorrow. We’re living out of our carry-ons, hopefully not too much longer, anticipating flying tomorrow… There is no internet access from Yesterday Camp, so this may be the last post until we return after the installations are completed, hopefully … Read More
Our camp on the Ross Ice Shelf was put in today. We’ll be deploying to the camp in two days. A lot of prep work to get everything moved from McMurdo to Yesterday Camp (just east of the dateline near 79deg S) has been done today. We’re nearly ready to go, hoping that the weather holds and the LC-130 transport … Read More
The installation of a seismic station on the ice takes a team effort, including help from the KBA Twin Otter pilots. Our seismic stations differ from the Wiens/Aster project installed yesterday in that they also contain barometers to measure the displacement due to atmospheric pressure changes. DR16 is our station that is farthest south, away from the ice front (see … Read More
We were transported out to the snow camping area near Williams (Willy’s) Field, an ice runway. The Crew. Heading to Snow Camp. The “field” training consisted of building a wall out of sawed snow blocks to shield out tents from the wind and each setting up our tents. The Wind Shield. Fortunately, we had great weather: sunny, low winds, and … Read More
Cold weather and survival training in Antarctica is extensive. The logistics for 15 people living at a field camp in sub-freezing weather requires extensive preparation — tents, food, sleeping bags, snowmobiles, fuel, … Today was snowmobile training — an important part of field operations since stations nearby (< 30 mi) will be installed by snowmobiles towing sleds carrying the instruments.
First view of Antarctica from the LC-17, northwest of McMurdo. The cockpit of the LC-17. Deplaning at Pegasus Field, McMurdo. It wasn’t as cold as anticipated, a balmy 14F. Enroute from Pegasus Field to McMurdo Station.
We’re scheduled to checking wearing our cold weather gear (see pics) at 10:30AM today (Saturday, we’re 4 hours behind California time and one day ahead). It’s about a 5 hr flight in the C-17 plane that will be taking us south — the workhorse transport plane. Time to get ready to move…
It’s been a busy few days in Christchurch, NZ getting ready for travel down to McMurdo Station, Antarctica. Yesterday we were outfitted with our cold weather gear, which we’ll be wearing when we board the plane for our ice flight — hopefully tomorrow. Weather conditions at McMurdo determine whether we will be on the ice tomorrow. If the weather turns … Read More