November 30, 2009
In an earlier blog I had wondered how the 24 hours of daylight would affect me. Recently, Erin (my daughter) asked me the same question. Here is my response:
It is really easy to grow accustomed to the constant light. I enjoy the 24 hours of sunlight. The natural light is uplifting, both emotionally and mentally. Even though it is cold and windy down here, the sunlight makes it easier to deal with. We can block the light out of our dorm room whenever we want to sleep. The winters in Colorado are hard on me, because of the short days, not because of the cold temperatures. Now, if we could just do something about this incessant wind we are experiencing down here.
The kitchen staff put on quite a feast on Thanksgiving. We celebrated on Saturday evening, so more people would be able to attend. I will try to list the different dishes we had to choose from. I’m sure that I’ll leave out a few:
Turkey, crab legs, steak, stuffed portabella mushrooms, mashed potatoes, yams, green bean casserole, Bing cherries, olives, red peppers, banana peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, and stuffing (vegetarian or sausage).
For dessert: Pumpkin pie, truffles, chocolate dipped strawberries, caramel apples, and chocolate mousse.
After the Thanksgiving feast Mike & I took a trip to the pressure ridges over by Scott Base (New Zealand’s Antarctic headquarters).
I will try to give you some idea of what pressure ridges are and how they are formed. Some pictures follow. The permanent ice on the Ross Ice Shelf is an extension of the glaciers coming down from the mountains. As you know, glaciers are constantly moving. It is the same with the ice shelf, it is moving away from the continent towards the sea. Ross Island sits in the way of this movement. So, the buckling of the ice is caused by the moving ice shelf running into the immovable island. This buckling occurs about 200 yards from the shore. I’m not sure why.
As a side note: 30 years ago (on November, 28th 1979) an Air New Zealand DC-10 crashed into Mount Erebus, killing all 257 people on board. They were on a sightseeing tour and were trying to get below a cloud deck. The Kiwis held a memorial service today for the friends and family of the deceased.