Thursday, December 2, 2010

More Life in McMurdo

We were originally scheduled to fly out to the CTAM (Central TransantArctic Mountain) base near the Beardmore Glacier Friday December 3.  But weather delays have pushed our scheduled departure until next Monday, December 6.  Part of that is weather related, but because the ice runway is scheduled to be moved this Saturday, that essentially pushes us back to Monday.  So, we will spend another weekend in McMurdo Station.

Here are some more photos from around the town:

Click on the photos for a larger view.

Tim Briggs, a long time friend from Grand Marais, Minnesota is working in McMurdo supervising the installation of the new power plant here.

Tim and the new Cat generators

The RO (Reverse Osmosis) system for desalinating seawater or McMurdo's water needs 

Tim with one of the control monitors for McMurdo power

This screen shows the integration of the 3 large wind turbines on Ross Island.  As you can see from the screen each wind turbine is generating over 300 Kw and in total is supplying 50% of the island's energy needs at the moment this picture was taken.

Fresh water holding tanks for McMurdo's water needs.

View of some of the McMurdo dormitories as seen from Hut Point.

The Coffee House (aka wine bar).  This is a very pleasant place to hang out at the end of the day and catch up with people.  TThe Coffee House is in one of the old style "half pipe" quonset hut buildings.  In fact this is one of the longest standing structures at McMurdo Station.  But the interior has been apportioned nicely with wood panelling and other additions to give it a warm feeling.

The other end of the Coffee House.

Crisis in McMurdo Station--the general store ran out of beer!  Resupply eventually came, but the McMurdo natives were getting restless.

A few buildings from Scott Base, the Kiwi Station ~ 3 km away from McMurdo.  Black Island is in the background.  Not the large pressure ridge just beyond the buildings.  These are pressure ridges built up between the sea ice and the much thicker shelf ice.

This sign shows that Antarctica is a long way from anywhere in the northern hemisphere.  Closest place (other than the South Pole) is Christchurch, New Zealand.

Hubert Staudigal, back in McMurdo Station from field work at the top of Mt. Erebus.  Hubert and his group is looking at microbial-rock interaction (the "rock bottom of the food chain") at Mt. Erebus. 

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