Tuesday, January 22, 2008

January 23, 2008
McMurdo Antarctica

Time: 10 am
Latitude: 77° 50’ S
Longitude: 166° 49.10’ E
Elevation: 34 m (112')
Ice core: done driling for this season at final depth of 580 m (1,740’)
Temperature: -9°C ( 15 °F)
Wind speed: 13 km/h (8 mp/h)
Wind Chill: -
Visibility: unlimited
Clouds: minimal mid level stratus, alto cumulus, mostly cloudy.
Wind direction: E
Relative Humidity: 40%
Barometric Pressure: falling
Precipitation: - 0
Animals: 6 Skuas, 20 Weddell seals (all in McMurdo), I have not looked for penguins yet but the ice breaker is in and there are water leads so there should be penguins?
Breakfast: coffee

Well folks, we made it. We are back in McMurdo
and still, this morning, very bleary eyed. We landed about 1 am and
made it to our dorm rooms by 2 am. The strangest thing is waking up in
a dark room instead of a yellow tent. It was a long and noisy trip in
our C-130 and I did not sleep a wink. From what little I saw out the
tiny portal windows on the plane it was cloudy across the whole of the
West Antarctic ice sheet and though I am not that excited to be one of
the first ones out, I am happy that we got out when we did. You just
never know what will happen with the weather, which was spectacular and
clear when we left. As seasons change around the world, the last couple
days seemed to have turned a corner with the weather atWAIS Divide. I am sure that this is an over statement but since we have seen fair weather for the last couple days in a row at WAIS Divide it sure seems like a change in the weather. Though I am sitting in McMurdo
and it is “warm” compared to where I was yesterday and it is hard not
to feel real change. I am also going to be in New Zealand in a few days
and my thoughts are moving towards summer sports and being outdoors –
which I realize will be dashed once I get back to Maine in a week and
40+ inches of snow on the ground.

Since it is early in the
morning, I just got up, and I am still a lot shocked by being back in
“town” and the warmth, number of people, and the many buildings, my
mind has not kicked back into gear. I am going to stop writing for
today and leave you with my last memory ofWAIS and our group picture.
As far as I remember everyone in camp at the time is in the picture. It
is a small image here on the web but you may still be able to pick out
friends, family, and correspondents (I am the fourth in from the left,
second row). Time to find the galley and its unlimited food, and
coffee. I have to cleanup, repack gear and review my data from the
field. I left my 3dquadrat and one data logger at WAIS which we will collect next season.

I will be continuing this blog until I have arrived home in a week, and most certainly the outreach for the WAIS
Divide ice coring program for the future. For additional information
and images please go to our science site which also links to additional
outreach-education at waisdivide.unh.edu. More later-


Mark said...

Zach and Crew,

What a great team photo. You guys look better and happier than the New England Pats!

Thanks for all the hard work this season and congrats on the successful season.

Happy and safe travels homeward,

Mary Broomhall said...

Hi Sylvia,
I couldn't believe it when Ms. Larue, a science teacher at the Kennett Middle School in Conway, NH, showed me your e-mail. I work with a student in Philip Mathieu's science class. I am pretty sure you once skied on the Nh State Ski Team at the Eastern High School Championships. My husband, Chuck Broomhall, was the head coach.

Mary Broomhall

Brandon Gillette said...

What a great photo! Sure brings back the memories of only a few weeks ago! It looks like you just missed another PolarTREC teacher staying at WAIS for a few days working on the weather stations. Hopefully they were able to fix the one that was broken in our 50+ knot winds!

Glad to hear you made it off the ice safe and sound. Best of luck in your travels back to the states!