chilling feet

chilling feet

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Antarctica =s Lots O' Shoveling

The past few weeks at the South Pole have been filled with birthdays, departments lining up those last few jobs that need to be finished before summer, and people solidifying plans for when they leave the continent. We have all be waiting to get our official off ice date, which really only means a date when a person will leave dependent on weather and such, and as we get those dates we can finally confirm plans for after we leave. It can be a little difficult to plan such traveling around a date that can fluctuate a decent amount, but we are doing our best.

Sarah and I finally made a few of our purchases in regards to the quick stop off we are going to make in Australia for some diving. The plan is to dive the Great Barrier Reef and do some sightseeing before we shoot on back for Thanksgiving. We both love to dive and are very much looking forward to diving this particular part of the world. Mostly it will just be nice to get back in the water. By the time we leave it will have been mover ten months since we have been submersed in any water, let alone the ocean. Surprisingly we do not have a pool here at the South Pole (said sarcastically).

This week we finally got to see our team winter-over photo. Matt Smith and Hunter Davidson worked on making it what you see above. It is a few photos combined - the night sky on the right and the sun starting to come up on the left. We have missed being able to look up into the Milky Way, which did look almost as pictured here to the naked eye. Good work on the photo guys. 

Our materials team has been driving out to the storage berms in search of goods for various other departments. On the last trip we had to go pretty far out so we made a little detour to the "end of the world." We took some photos at this same location as the sun was beginning to set about six months ago, and so it was fun to take some now as the sun is beginning to rise. The colors the new rising sun has been pouring out over our white landscape have been quite nice to watch. Lots of purples, reds, oranges, and pinks. Pretty soon we will see the actual sun itself - that will be nice!

And oh the shoveling. The shoveling... As you can see in the picture where I'm about to crush Steve's head with a giant piece of snow/ice, the wind blows snow in through the cracks in the doors to our arch. When this picture was taken we had already managed to get about six to eight feet move from above where we are standing. This week we needed to shovel this all out of the way so we can then open the doors and drag the snow out with a machine. Needless to say I'm a little sore from all of the shoveling, but we got it done and our doors are open. It's nice to have some natural light pouring in through our open doors.

The final picture was taken at the end of the world also. Someone had fun taking blocks of ice and building a cairn type structure, which is actually really cool to find way out in the middle of nowhere. It is almost as if it is one last final warning to turn back before the vastness of the land before you.

The first picture is a Scott tent that one of the guys here set up so we could take some nice photos. It was pretty neat to see what a tent like that would be like set up in the snow. I think I prefer our station to the tent life as it did not seem quite as cozy.

Only a short time left before we leave. We will have our Sunrise dinner this weekend, a fun event and major marker of our time nearing an end. Pictures and stories will follow. 

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