Moai on Easter Island

Moai on Easter Island

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Early Season in Antarctica

As is the norm lately I’m super late getting blog posts up, but I do have a pretty good collection of photos from the first part of the season down here in Antarctica and figured it was better to share them a few months late than not at all. 

The summer season at McMurdo Station is called mainbody and runs from early October through the end of February.   Much of the early season work is on the sea ice, which is one of my favorite parts about being down here because it’s one of the only dynamic things down here that can drastically change from day to day.  And being on the sea ice is the best chance to see wildlife, well besides some of the strange creatures that work in McMurdo. 

Here’s a small collection of photos from the McMurdo Sound area in October and November.  

I was bartending on Halloween night and when we closed at 1am and was far too hyped up to go to sleep.  So I grabbed my camera and went for a walk. Even though the sun didn't set,  it was still low enough in the sky to create the last sunset/sunrise colors that I saw for the rest of the season.

October was full of horrible weather, with only a few days clear and calm enough to get outside and get work done.  On this clear day Mt. Erebus was still covered in lenticular clouds meaning super high winds high on the mountain. 

Shackleton's Hut at Cape Royds hides a plethora of gourmet food, such as these cans of 100 year old beef loaf. 

In mid-November I helped out a group of seal biologists.  They tag Weddell Seals as part of a seal population study that has been going on for over 40 years.

I only saw penguins one day this year out on the sea ice, but that day I saw over a hundred Emperor Penguins waddling and sliding across the ice.  We stopped to sit and watch the first few groups, but as the day went on penguins sitings became comparable to seeing cows on the side of the road while driving though Montana.  

Exploring an ice cave in the Erebus Glacier Tongue.  The open space inside this cave is from a crevasse that was sealed off by snow and wasn't revealed again until the glacier tongue broke off while floating into the ocean. 

Emperor Penguins hanging out along the sea ice edge in McMurdo Sound. 

The Royal Society Range from the sea ice during a traverse carrying fuel and cargo across McMurdo Sound to Marble Point which is a helicopter refueling station for the Dry Valleys. 

The Adelie Penguin colony at Cape Royds.

Home Sweet Home:  McMurdo situation on the southern tip of Ross Island.  

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