Monday, January 21, 2008



January 22, 2008
WAIS Divide camp Antarctica -Still!!!!!

Time: 6 am
Latitude: 79° 28.10’ S
Longitude: 112° 3.56’ W
Elevation: 1820 m (5919’)
Ice core: ~ 580m ( 1,740’) ~ before 400 BC - coring completed
Temperature: -16°C (2°F)
Wind speed: 0-5 km/h (0-3 mp/h)
Wind Chill: -22°C (-8°F)
Visibility: 10 km (7 miles)
Clouds: minimal low-mid level stratus
Wind direction: NE
Relative Humidity: 76%
Barometric Pressure: steady
Precipitation: - 0
Animals: 6 Skuas, 20 Weddell seals (all in McMurdo)
Breakfast: eggs, home fries, juice, coffee
Lunch: BBQ beef sandwiches, carrot-mushroom loaf, hash browns, green salad
Supper: Sweet potatoes, rice, chicken, tofu

Well,
the day started bright and calm and all seemed right. I started to pack
gear and remained optimistic about the flight. I spent the morning
downloading other folks images and organizing and volunteered for House
Mouse since I now have a casual schedule. The only thing really left to
do was take down my to take down my tent and hang it to dry in the
science jamesway . While I was on washing dishes from breakfast on House
Mouse, the announcement came over the radio that for some unexplained
reason the flight was canceled. The next two songs on the galley
stereo were “I got to get out of this place” by the Animals, and “Hotel
California” by the Eagles. Coincidence? I think not. Strange Karma –
that cosmic sense of humor? Probably not that either. It is just the
way things work here in Antarctica – on Antarctica time and nothing
that you could ever schedule. So, here I am in WAIS camp for at least
one more day. The only tough consequence is that there are only a few
planes to New Zealand, and one is Tuesday night. The chances of
actually getting out of here and getting straight on the NZ flight is
less than the chance that a plane will still show-up here today - which
is very very low. No worries, we just hangout here and McMurdo a few extra day(s). There is a plane scheduled for today
in the late evening so there is plenty of chance for something else
unexplained or explained like weather to get in the way of this flight.
Always an opportunity though to learn something else about this place
or the people here and who knows, maybe today the weather will be even
better or the views of the flat white surface will be more spectacular?
For right now though I am leaving my tent up.

Here is what happens when flights are delayed and the natives get restless. Actually just kidding, this image is of Dr Charles Bentley and Rebecca in a friendly arm wrestling match. Probably over who ate the last of the popcorn. Who do you think won? Especially with the ~60 year age difference.

2 comments:

iteech4K said...

Zach,
Well, I hope you are on your way home. Just wanted to say that I have enjoyed reading your blog. It was very informative and educational. I have shared the site with some of my friends and colleagues. The eight year old son of a friend would like me to ask you what kind of birds you may have seen in New Zealand?
Safe home!
Your cousin, Joan
jmkern@cedarcrest.edu

zach said...

Hi Joan,

NZ is so long a go that I am trying to remember what birds even look like. I will definitely look closely later this week as I travel back through but I honestly can not remember other than that they were colorful.

Peace