Oh hi Antarctica. It’s me, Sandwich.
I came down to the ice this season for Winfly,* an early deployment that comes in August to help open the station for Mainbody*. For 6 weeks, I worked in the BFC* getting gear together and ready for science groups. The night sky has been spectacular, the nacreous clouds incredible, the temperatures colder than I ever remember (-80F windchill? really!?), and the work has been busy and fun.
Winfly has been mellow, but not boring. I’ve been working on some silly things for the craft fair, went on some walks, visited the pressure ridges*, took a nodwell* to castle rock, blew bubbles in -40F (they turn to a shredded papery substance), organized a balsa man antarctic regional event, re-created the bowling alley, chainsawed holes in the ice, watched the movie “the room” (wow. just wow), and saw a face-melting concert by colorful and talented local folk. Mcmurdo, you are an excellent village full of wonderful people.
Now is the time when Winterovers leave, and the rest of the Summer crew arrives in droves. This year is interesting, since there is a lack of bedspace in Christchurch NZ due to city-wide structural damage from the massive earthquake last february. Passenger flights come south only twice a week instead of every other day. My science team, Bravo 308, arrived a couple days ago, so I have since moved from the BFC to the lab to help things get ready for our fishing season. I’ll be here until mid-December. Looking forward to more fun and fish, but until then, trainings.
All Antarctic photos here:
twitter here: http://twitter.com/#!/sandwichgirl
*Winfly – winter fly-in
*Mainbody – basically, summer. when station population is at its largest and most bustling.
*BFC – Berg Field Center. Kind of the REI of McMurdo.
*pressure ridges – building-sized towers of ice formed by the convergence of sea ice, permanent ice shelf, and the land.
*nodwell – a tracked passenger transport vehicle.