Moai on Easter Island

Moai on Easter Island

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

If This Keeps Up I'll Need Sunglasses Soon!

Check out the glow from the lava lake on the top of  Mt. Erebus.
Some would say the Antarctic winter ends in just a few hours.  The first (and hopefully not only) C-17 of Winfly is landing this afternoon bringing in 50 people and some cargo.  Mail and fresh food are supposed to come in on the flight this Saturday.

Morning on the McMurdo Ice Shelf.
Venus shines beyond the "porch" of Scott's Discovery Hut.

Other people would say the winter ends when a few flights land in early September. For others it might end when the masses get here in October or when the sun comes up in just four days.   I haven't decided when I think winter ends, but I do know that I am extremely excited for the sun.

Scott's Discovery Hut near McMurdo.

Auroras above Mt Erebus during last Saturday's display. 

Mike drills to check the sea ice thickness.

Solar noon is just about 1pm right now. In the morning there is a faint glow on the southeastern horizon when I walk to work and a glow on the northwestern horizon on my walk home.  Everyday I walk outside at noon and feel like a normal person again because it is light.  I can see everything again and the mountains are clearly visible miles away. Even without the sun it almost feels like we're in a more normal day and night cycle.
A crack in the sea ice had healed enough for us to cross it.

Some days the dark would suffocate me.  It felt like it would never end.  Instead of waiting hours for the heavy weight of the night to end I had to wait months.  Now that the sun is almost here I do feel like the winter night is coming to an end.  There isn't much of my memory left and I have a hard time making complete sentences and finding the correct words for simple every day things, but I feel like I've accomplished something by surviving the winter in Antarctica.

Bridging timbers in place so the Hagglund can
cross over a crack in the sea ice.
Drilling into the sea ice before a storm came
in and forced us to return to McMurdo.

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