Monday, December 03, 2007

Antarctic Update- 2

Another message from my eldest, on a geological expedition in Antarctia:


Hello! We've been in McMurdo Station, Antarctica for nearly a week
now. We've been busy preparing for our departure into the field. Our
camping gear, scientific equipment, food, radios, snowmobiles, fuel,
and personal gear all has to be gathered, sorted, packed, and put into
the cargo system before we can fly to Siple Dome and then on to Scott
Glacier. In addition, I had to take a two-day snow camping course
which included a night out in tents on the Ross Ice Shelf about a mile
out of "town". The weather was beautiful, and by the end of the class
we had a view of the entire 12,500 feet of Mt. Erebus, the southernmost
active volcano in the world.

We're scheduled to fly out on Wednesday, although flight schedules in
Antarctica often change. I've attached a few photos from the trip thus
far:


1 - As our NZ-Antarctica flight approached McMurdo, we had an amazing
view of the Transantarctic Mountains in northern Victoria Land. Our
field area at Scott Glacier won't be as completely snow covered but
otherwise will probably look similar.


2 - Me on the NZ-Antarctica flight, with lots of cargo behind. We flew
on a C-17 operated by the New York Air National Guard for you airplane
buffs out there.


3 - A view of McMurdo Station from the top of a local hill. Most of
the station is cargo storage yards, fuel tanks, etc. The middle of
"town" is where most things happen for us.


4 - A photo of my snow camping classmates as we waited to be picked up
at the end of our class. Mt. Erebus rises to over 12,000 feet behind.

I just watched the documentary "Encounters at the End of the World", by
Werner Herzog. It's a quirky look at McMurdo, the people down here,
and our relationship to Antarctica. If you can find it (it had a
Discovery Channel credit at the end), I would recommend it. It may not
be out yet, however.

I'll try to send another email before we leave for the field.


Cheers,

-- Seth.

By Professor Batty



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