I met all of my roommates last night. I think this will be a good season! 3 of us are early to bed people. (ONE of us is an early to rise person- I still woke up at 3:30 AM)
I checked the forecast for today – (this will be my only Sunday off for awhile) Looks like it will turn cold with blowing snow this afternoon. Darn. I was going to climb Observation Hill (Ob Hill).
I’m still in a fuzzy mode since arriving. In some ways- It’s like I never left. The change in dorm room location and roommates is nice. But looking out over the Transantarctic Mountain Range still takes my breath away. I am constantly running into people I know. (I’m still horrible at remembering NAMES, but I can remember where they worked last year!)
Yesterday – my refresher course (over Happy Camp and Sea Ice Survival) was cancelled at the last minute. So I spent the afternoon “checking out” vehicles – making sure they were all equipped with shovels, first aid kits, spill kits, and other things required out on the ice. I believe I must’ve shrunk a little since last year, as climbing up was quite the struggle! (I have several sore ZONES this morning!) I worked in a team with another lady to do this- and since I am younger, thought it would be nice if I did the climbing around and called down to her the numbers and info. We had to stop a couple of times and return to the office to warm up. (Wooooooooooo refreshing cold!)
Later – I went with Shuttle Bill to practice driving Ivan the Terra Bus. Again – you always CHECK OUT a vehicle BEFORE starting it up. It is always the driver’s responsibility to check oil, glycol levels, transmission fluids, etc. depending on type of vehicle. Since he is tall – he has to crawl on his hands and knees to get under Ivan. I can bend over and walk under. Even though I knew Ivan had been worked on 2 days prior – I still carefully looked at each gauge. I could not see any glycol in the dial. So after cranking Ivan up -there are some tricks to getting him going – I waited the 20 minutes for him to warm up. When I tried to drive away – the emergency brake would not release! (Smacking forehead). I was glad Bill was there to verify my troubles! Luckily the VMF (vehicle maintenance shop) is directly up the hill from where Ivan was parked. The brake did finally release and I drove right to the VMF! Ivan was still sitting there last night. Guess there was ice in the break line or something – “not a quick fix”. We have a plane coming Monday – so hopefully Ivan will be ready.
I’ve signed up to take “Hut training”. This will allow me to lead recreational trips of McMurdo people out to the different historical “Huts”. Scott’s Hut – the Discovery Hut – Cape Evan – Shackelton’s Hut. These trips are scheduled on my days off. This will involve driving on the frozen Sea Ice – until it starts to melt. (Remember I had Sea Ice Survival Training last year.)
Time for breakfast!