Saturday, October 24, 2009
This is Sheri and Jeremy carving an octopus out of a chunk of ice that was pulled out of the Ross Sea ice when the sea ice road was being groomed at the beginning of the season. There is a lot of creativity in the carpenter shop. Besides working really hard, we also have a lot of fun.
The Carpenter Shop is up on a hill with some of the best views of McMurdo, the Ross Sea Ice and the mountains and glaciers beyond. Sometimes you forget what a beautiful place this is, but you only have to walk outside to remind yourself why you're here. Some days you can see forever while other days all you can see is white.
After a ten day trip to get here, it was good to be back and see old friends. It takes that long to get here because there are three days of training in Denver, a fourteen hour plane ride to Sydney, Austraila, and then a three hour trip to Christchurch, New Zealand. You stay in Christchurch for two nights and pick up your ECW (emergency cold weather gear). Sometimes because of weather or mechanical problems you get delayed and have to stay an extra day or two in Christchurch which is a nice little vacation. I've been lucky, last year I was delayed for five days, this year for two. Finally arrived in Antarctica, or on the Ice as they say here, in early October after a five hour military C-17 flight.
The plane actually lands on the permanent ice shelf of the Ross Sea at the Pegusus Runway. Pegusus was named after a plane that crashed down here some time ago. They tend to name things here after people or things that have died. The runway is actually a groomed layer of snow over the sea ice.