Monday, July 18, 2011

Pressure Ridges, with Seals even

This is from another rec. trip , our group was taken over the hill about a mile and a half from McMurdo Station to Scott Base ( the New Zealand Antarctic Station ) their base sits right on the shore of the Ross Sea and they have spectacular Pressure Ridges that form when the tidal water forces the seas ice up against the land mass where the ice then buckles from the built up force.

During the summer months is when most of the seal pups are born so it is easy to find seals sunning themselves with the newborns.

Trying to be good tourists and attempting to follow the guidelines of the Antarctic treaty which forbids people from ubsetting the wildlife.

So many camera opps it's hard to pick out the best shots.


Moving right along.

Astounding what nature can do.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Rec. Trip #1: Cape Evans

Periodically throughout the summer season the on station recreation department sets up trips for stations workers to go out and see the sights either on Ross Island or the surrounding ice shelf. One such trip was to Cape Evans on the west side of Ross Island, the cape was discovered during Robert Falcon Scotts "Discovery Expedition " and was originally named the skuary.

Scott's second expedition, the "British Antarctic Expedition" built it's head quarters there and renemed the cape for Lieutenant Edward Evans of the Royal Navy who was second in command for the expedition. The headquarters building still exists on the site and is known as Scott's Hut.

A Delta, one of the many specialized vehicles brought down to the continent and relied on for personnel transport in the harsh environment.

Luckily on the drive to Cape Evans across the frozen Ross Sea we were able to stop and see Icebergs that were trapped in the frozen waters for the winter until the seasonal thaw freed them to continue their way out to the open ocean.

ME! during the long walk around the ice berg.

The following are interior shots of the hut at Cape Evans, all the original artifacts were left here intact, essentially frozen in time ( HA!) . The penguin carcass is pretty much mummified as are the seal piles of seal skins.

Lab equipment is all left in it's orignal places in the make shift lab in the hut.

Unamed Island ( meaning i don't know it's name ) in the distance.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Winfly 2010 and the auroras

This is what made me want to winter!

After my first summer on the Ice I kept telling myself that I would never want to spend a winter on the continent, the idea of being in the cold darkness of Antarctica for that long didn't appeal to me whatsoever... and then I got here for my second summer arriving at Winfly ( austral winter flights ) which marks the beginning of the summer season. During this time the McMurdo is prepped for the upcoming Mainbody flights where most of the personnel will arrive either to stay and work or travel on to other stations and field camps. The cold was amazing, so crisp it reminded me so much of the winters back in Michigan ( or how they used to be ) and the darkness and the stars were so beautiful.. I hadn't seen the night sky so vivid since spending time at me parents vacation property in Northern Michigan when I was a teenager.

These aurora pictures, while not that great are the best my little camera could muster in the cold and in my shaking hands :-)

The green streaks lit up the sky...

Did yo uknow they can actually pulsate.. so so very amazing

These were only a small sample of the gorgeous night sky happenings I was able to witness.

Blurry view of the town ( McMurdo Station ) from Observation Hill ( OB Hill ) , again due largely to my shaking hands.

My first Polar Stratospheric Clouds more commonly called nacreous clouds, this is a small example but there were many times over the course of the season where they were massive and quite beautiful.

More Nacreous clouds

The Station early in summer as the sun is starting too peek above the horizon.. it's so much like dawn but will last for hours before it heads below the horizon again.

My send off cake!

My freinds back home are so awesome! even when they mock me with Costco cake

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

WOW!, have I been lazy

In can't beleive that I haven't posted anything on here since May of 2010, Sorry if I dissapointed any folks that were looking forward to some amazing pictures ( see above ) of my second and now third season on the Ice at McMurdo.

The above picture is of some of the amazing auroras I've been able to see down here this winter season, and it is most definately one of the things that has made staying for the winter worth every cold dark minute.

My summer season ( 2010-11) was alot of fun as well as a lot of work, the station was over capacity several times during the season with flights coming and going and the living quarters were quite close, having to share a small room with 3 others.

I will post pics from throughout the summer when I have my laptop hooked up the the network ( all my pics are on it ), there was alot more to see this year than my first season down, I was able to do a few boondoggles with one of them being to the South Pole ( that's where my new face pic is from )

Looking forward to updating this and hope everyone enjoys the pics as well as my run-on sentences and utter lack of proper punctuation.