??Springtime??

October 21, 2009

Yesterday and todays weather is the worst we have had since we’ve been here.  At  1:00 in the afternoon it is –15 degrees F. with winds at 24 knots gusting to 35.  Skies are overcast with an occasional snowflake.  All flights are cancelled again.  The best weather in the last 36 hours was last night between 10:00pm and 4:00am.  I was working a mid watch I got to observe the sunset and sunrise.

When I arrived at work (10:00pm) last night the sun was shining through the southwest facing window.  The sun was low on the horizon, just above some low lying mountains.  It traveled towards the south, parallel to the horizon, occasionally going behind the higher peaks and returning on the other side.  The sun finally set at midnight and rose again three hours later.  For approximately four hours that section of the sky near the horizon was slowly changing shades of pink.  I didn’t have a camera, of course.  I plan on taking one tonight, but who knows what the sky conditions will be.  The sun was down for three hours last night, but will only be down for two and a half hours tonight.  I’m guessing that in another week the sun wont set for months.

We have not seen any wild life since we have been here.  No penguins, no birds, no mice, not even a fly or bug.  Ditto with flora.  No trees, on bushes, not even any weeds.  They used to have a green house at the station, but apparently it didn’t survive the budget cuts.  Mike and I are hoping the ice around McMurdo moves out to sea this year.  That will bring lots of marine life to area.  But, the sea ice has remained in the area for the last six or seven years.   Everyone says that we will see penguins, other birds, and seals when the weather warms up.

PICT0751

Dog sleds from a bygone era.  Mike says dogs are no longer allowed in Antarctica for environmental reasons.   I would like to hear the rational for that decision.  It seems kind of crazy, considering what they do allow.

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Some of the vehicles that they do allow down here.

PICT0758Helicopter leaving McMurdo, carrying a load to an outlying camp.

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