I had some time this morning to work on shrinking photos to add here. They will cover the Fuel tanker – Lawrence M. Gianella arriving to provide us with MILLIONS of gallons of fuel for another year. Also the Oden – Ice crusher, is back trying to break up all the ice around McMurdo Sound. So far it is still staying in the bay. Everyone hopes it will flow out to sea so we can have OPEN WATER to view the incoming orcas, weddell seals and penguins!
I also have photos showing the view from my “boondoggle”. 10 of us from different departments around station were selected to ride ski-doos up the side of Mt. Erebus for an afternoon of relaxing and having fun. It was awesome!! I’d never ridden or driven one before. The photos I posted (sort of) show the panoramic views from there. The one showing Williams Airfield is a favorite. I’d never seen it from this angle. Now you can see how when the storms come through – the airfield becomes invisible! Along with anything or one that is there!
I also included a photo of the Survival Gear that is always taken along when you leave town. We had a total of 12 people (2 guides and 10 boondoggle-ers?) This was to be a 4 or 5 hour trip in the DAY, yet you never know what the weather will do. Our guides also had along 2 large pots of hot water for drinks and extra snacks. The route up to “Room With A View”…. is flagged. We NEVER got off the flagged route. (I still drove fast enough to JUMP snow drifts!!!!) But I made sure I never ventured into unknown areas where those sneaky crevasses hide out. I give all explorers gold stars for making it through. When you stand where they stood, and see the obstacles that they saw – you will be humbled.
My fingers were frozen from gripping the handle bars, but no one on our tour had frostbite. I sure slept well that night!!
Last year the station used a lot of VOLUNTEERS to drive the old beat up trucks to haul millvans to and from the ships. Since the budget cuts and reduced staff in all areas – they had to hire people to come in and drive this year. (They hired a crew of Kiwis.) They began their duties yesterday and we all had to listen carefully to the radio transmissions as the ACCENT is so hard to understand!
Enjoy the photos. (I’ll go fold laundry now!)