Sunday, January 29, 2006

1-30-06 Monday

The major news of the previous few days was that we got hit by a little snowstorm. Helicopters were grounded for two days, and visibility was poor all around. We spent the time in the lab, staying nice and warm. The upside to all the snow we got was the blanket of white powder that coated all the roads and hills around McMurdo. This place loses some ofits dirty mining town aura when it's covered in white.

Observation hill, with the old nuke plant site visible about halfway up:

Self portrait in front of the labs

The Discovery Hut on Hut Point:

The other big news of the day was that the Krasin icebreaker pulled out from the dock the day before (still with one missing propeller blade on the starboard screw) and went out to escort the Palmer in. The Palmer has been doing a scientific cruise in the open waters around Antarctica for more than a month, and has come in to McMurdo for just one day. Much of the science crew is getting off, and new crew and science staff are getting back on for the cruise home.

The fuel tanker will come in in a few days, escorted by two ice breakers (the Krasin and her sister ship, the Captain Unspellable Russian Surname). The fuel tanker is wider in beam than the Krasin, and the ice in the channel is not clearing out, so its necessary to run two ships ahead of the tanker to chew up a wide path.