ICEBERG! RIGHT AHE….Nevermind

A week or so ago we had an iceberg show up.  The weather was calm for a couple days after and the ice was freezing over, some people thought it was going to stick around all winter.  We had a couple days of gnarly winds that blew the iceberg and all the ice out though…I miss the berg, I named her Stella. Come back Stelllaaaaa

 

No one went out there so I have no idea how big it is officially. Judging my comparing it to hut point I’d guess you could stick 2 or 3 houses on there. Maybe not, what do I know about icebergs. Haha

 

Iceberg Right Ahe…Nope I just can’t do it.

 

I’m so glad someone put that sign up or else I’d be walking all over the bathroom and have no idea where the shower is!

Pretty Princess

So yesterday was a little blowy so we had a bunch of snow blowing all over the place.  It reduced the visibility significantly so they changed us to the first Con 2 of the season.  I made a video of my walk home.  It isn’t super exciting and after I watched it I wondered if that’s even the kind of stuff you guys care to see?  I had the camera on a head mount so I don’t have to carry the thing. I didn’t realize how much I sway my head back and forth when I walk, sorry about that. 🙂

Some Random Stuff

What’s happening peeps.  Nothing too terribly exciting lately.  The weather has been pretty schizophrenic lately. One day it’s blowing like a bitch and the next it’s dead calm, then back to hellacious wind the next day.  This place would be a really great place to be if we had the calm days even like 50% of the time.  We had horrible horrible Indian food for lunch today.  Have I mentioned that I do not like Indian food? The whole dam galley smells like a toilet that someone pooped and puked in!  Ok, that’s enough for now, I have to head back to work.

 

Can someone tell me why I’m suddenly getting spam from someone named “Cocaine Seller” trying to give me a hookup that I never asked for? I’ve gotten tons of spam before but very suddenly it’s all about coke, WTF!

Updated pic of that giant chunk of land that broke off.

Stuck in the snow, whoops…

Water starting to freeze over.  Then we got a big ass storm and it all blew out.  It’s back to freezing over though.

It was so calm the other day. The water was like glass, what a beautiful day. So I thought I’d record it a bit.

Pegasus Redux

Sooooo, apparently we missed some stuff out at Pegasus so we had to go back today.  We knew there were those antennas that we left on purpose because of the weather, but there was some stuff in a building we missed.  Luckily today was about 180 degrees difference weather-wise from the other day. It was gorgeous today. No wind, it was as clear, the road was nice, it was amazing.  I don’t have any harrowing tales to tell today.  I did take a few pics of what you couldn’t see in the videos from the other day. So, enjoy.

I meant to post this pic yesterday.  If you’re ever out in the cold for extended periods of time then buy some Keen boots!  I was up to the top of the boots in snow, they’re covered in melted snow and my feet never got cold. Best boots ever!

Pegasus Airfield

Hey everybody.  So life is pretty good here.  We get the occasional work order but most of my job is going through radio equipment, batteries, antennas, and making sure it’s all working right so that it can be issued out to people in the summer.  It’s actually pretty tedious and boring, but it’s easy and I get to stay inside, out of the cold most of the time.  That was not the case yesterday though.

I told you that the last flight is gone now so they’re working on shutting down the airfield. That involves removing power and heat from all but one building out there. So since there is comm gear in several of those buildings that are going to go cold we had to go out and remove it.

I went with 3 other IT folks who had to take out some of their own gear.  It’s about a mile to get to the road to Pegasus that is out on the permanent ice shelf. Once you get there it’s another 14 miles out to the airfield.  The weather wasn’t too terrible in town, but it got MUCH worse the further out on the road we went.  I had my small camera with me but the windows were iced up and with all the snow blowing around you wouldn’t have really seen anything anyway, so I didn’t bother taking any. I did take my GoPro and the head mount so I did get some video at the airfield. I wish I had brought the suction cup mount so I could have put it on top of the van so you could see how nasty it was, but I didn’t think of it.

The road is 2 lanes on the ice, one for vehicles with tracks, and the other for vehicles with tires.  They’re each probably about the width of a 3 lane highway or so, and there are green flags lining one side and red flags lining the other. The flags are about every 100 feet or so the whole way out to the airfield. The road also forks a couple of times where it goes out to other destinations.  There was a lot of blowing snow the whole way out. After that first couple of miles we were having trouble seeing the flags. Probably the very best visibility we had at any point may have been about a 1/4 mile. The rest of the time we were seeing maybe 6 to 8 flags out. There were way more times than I was comfortable with where the visibilty dropped to 1 flag, and there were a bunch of times where that 1 flag was getting hard to see.  We were very close to having to just stop the van in the middle of the road and wait until we had more visibility.  I found out after we got back that if you can only see 1 flag that’s a Condition 1 weather situation and you’re supposed to stop, radio the firehouse to let them know your approx location, and wait it out.

We made it though, and really those 1 flag situations weren’t lasting for a prolonged time. We’d have 1 flag for a few minutes, then it would open up to 5 or 6, then back to 1, and so on. So the weather conditions were quite literally the worst they can be and still keep a vehicle moving in it.  The road was crappy too, there was fresh snow and snow drifts everywhere.  It’s a 4WD van that’s lifted with some fairly beefy knobby tires and we were still fishtailing and swerving all over the road. We finally made it to the airfield and as we slowed down ended up in a snow drift and didn’t have enough momentum to break through it so we got the van stuck.  We were able to get it out but ended up getting it stuck later a couple more times, luckily not bad enough that we couldn’t get it out.  I saw a few nasty storms the last time I was here, but nothing like this.  I got out of the van and grabbed a bag of tools out of the back of the van and I had to struggle to get the door open against the wind. Later on I found a wind guage in one of the towers and it showing it bouncing around from 45-60mph. We made it over to the first building and I stepped around a huge piece of equipment and the wind and snow hit me in the face. That was the first time I ever had the wind blowing the snow into my face so hard that it was actually painful. I tried to cover my face and hustle up the stairs to get in the building.  I had goggles in my jacket but hadn’t bothered to put them on. After that I had the goggles on and buttoned myself up tight.  It’s really hard to walk in those snow drifts when you’re sinking in up to the top of your boots, especially for a big ol’ fatty like me! There were about a half dozen buildings we had to hit. We got most of what we came for but there were a couple antennas mounted up on top of the buildings and there was no way I was going up there with all that wind so we left that stuff for now. Hopefully we’ll get a nice day if we have to go back.  There were a couple times where the wind really peaked and I was trying to walk toward these steps but the wind was blowing me sideways as I was trying to go forward. It was kinda like Michael Jackson moon walking only I was trying to go forward but sliding sideways. There were about a half dozen times where it came close to me being blown off my feet. Actually I’m not sure how I didn’t end up on my butt a couple of times. I was carrying some equipment out to the van so my hands were full and there was a gap between my goggles and my beenie that the wind could get at and it felt like my skin was burning! My God it was so cold! BRRRRR!  After going back and forth between these buildings a few times we finally had everything loaded up and left.  The road was just as bad on the way back and we were sliding all over the place!  There is one spot where the road forked and we almost went the wrong way and didn’t but it made us slide and we took out a couple of the flags and a mile marker sign. Ooops!  In the end the van stayed on all 4 wheels, we didn’t get overly stuck, and we all made it back in one piece, so it was a success.

I looked at the GoPro footage and the picture is fantastic, but it SOOOO doesn’t do it justice.  It didn’t seem to capture as much of the snow as it felt like there was, and you certainly can’t feel the wind or cold, or feel how hard it can be to trudge through all that while trying to breath heavily through a gaitor and a parka zipped up to your nose.  So when you watch it imagine -30* wind blasting you in the face. Better yet, go grab a couple ice cubes and hold them on your face while you watch. 🙂  One of these days I’ll get good at video editing and I’ll edit out the crappy boring stuff. In the meantime I’ll just post what I have and you can curse me for not editing it.

Last Flight

Hey guy.  Well we officially kicked off winter today with the last flight leaving. So we’re stuck for the next 6 months.  Fingers crossed that we won’t need a medivac this year!  It’s Sunday here so it’s my day off and I’ve just been wandering around, I slept in today too which is awesome. After the last flight left they turned on the WiFi, which is freaking AWESOME! I’ve gotten my room like 50% situated, I’ve been a little lazy working on it but I’ve got plenty of time.  I don’t really have any pics to post today, nothing too exciting to take pictures of.  I’ve started using lotion again which I hate. I don’t know how girls can rub some many lotions and creams into themselves. I hate having lotion hands afterward.  Since this is the driest continent your skin can really suffer. It’s almost mandatory for even guys here to use lotion or your skin dries out so much. 

Work is alright. My new work center is right against the ocean and one of the rooms I work in has a window so I get to see the ocean and the mountains whenever I want.  It’s cool but it also means I have to walk up the hill when I leave here to go home, goto lunch, or if there are any work orders that need to be worked on in town.  As you all know I’m a big ol’ fatty who is totally out of shape so that makes it hard to walk up that hill.  The first week was torture but it has gotten better over this last week. So I would think everything would be pretty much ok in another week or so. 

Ok, I can’t think of anything else to say right now.  So…

Urinals, erosion, and South Koreans

What’s upppp!!

It’s been a few days so I thought I’d say hi.  I’ve been working on getting over being sick, I’ve felt better for a couple days but my voice has still been all messed up.  I tried to kill the germs with some adult beverages on Saturday.  In my drunkenness I took a couple pics of the urinal filters. I posted a couple pics the last time I was here but I still think it’s funny that the janitor staff decorate all the new filters before they put them in the urinals. There is even a “McMurdo Urinal Art” facebook page…  https://www.facebook.com/pages/McMurdo-Urinal-Art/112473202117638  Ok, enough with the pee pee, I just thought it was interesting.

I was out by the ocean taking a few pics and got some of the edge of the ice shelf and some icebergs. Actually I don’t know if you could technically call them icebergs, but they’re certainly huge ass pieces of ice. We also had a giant piece of land break off because of all that erosion at the shore.  It’s at the tip of Hut Point. Someone told me there was a huge piece broken off but I didn’t think it would be THAT big. When I looked out the window I think I actually said “Oh shit!” out loud, hahaha. It was much bigger than I thought it would be.  Crazy ol’ mother nature at it again.

We had a South Korean ship show up yesterday.  I don’t know all the details but I do know they choppered about 70 of them off the ship and out to the runway. They stuck them on the 757 that came to pick up our people who were going back to Christchurch.

While I was out there taking pics I looked up and there was the plane coming in to land. I know planes aren’t typically a big deal but we don’t get them here all that often. So when one is coming everyone in town typcailly knows about it, it usually means friends are either coming or going. I knew we had one coming in but I didn’t know exactly when. I just happen to look up and see it. I was watching it come in and I thought I’d go ahead and record it. So it isn’t the most exciting video of all time, but if you do watch it you’ll be able to say you watched a plane land at Pegasus Runway at McMurdo Station, and how many people can say that, right? Haha.  I think there are only 2 more flights left before we’re stuck here.