Archive for November, 2007
Just a few pictures from the trip home. One of the quickest rides out I ever had. Everything worked perfectly. I left Pole at 5pm on Saturday and arrived in Christchurch at noon on the next day.
Team BICEP has made it to the South Pole after a lengthy delay in McMurdo. These guys know what they are doing and we could have a very quick turnover. I had myself put on the last Saturday flight, assuming it would be delayed and we would have the whole day to work. It is a bit strange that the delays have become so frequent that I can actually use them in my favor.
Things worked out exactly as planned and I boarded an LC-130 at 5pm. Tomo took this picture of me walking to the plane. [tags]Antarctica, South Pole, LC-130, leaving[/tags]
Ann Curry and the Today Show team finally made it to the South Pole. Many of the winter-overs that got stuck here for more than a week blamed her for the long delay. Somehow she must have had some really bad karma. Finally, last night they came in for a little more than an hour, returning on the same plane on which they got here.
Just before going to bed I had a cup of team in the Gallery and people starting looking out the windows.
After a whole week without flights “departing” winter-overs are getting desperate at the South Pole. I am sure Father John and the Archbishop of New Zealand send a prayer every day, as they are just as desperate as everyone else to get out. So far to no avail. (more…)
No, I am not going crazy, I just keep finding goodies while I clean up files on my computer. This one is a video I took of the last flight that left South Pole before the Antarctic winter set in, way back in February.
The plane makes a really nice flyby to the cheers of the gathered crowd. Back then we where happy to see the last plane leave. Now we wouldn’t mind actually seeing one land again.
We had three LC-130s en route to the South Pole and it was just announced that all of them returned to McMurdo, due to bad weather here and a bad forecast in McMurdo.
I just walked out here to BICEP before the first plane was due in and the visibility was indeed extremely poor. It was going in and out all day, but there was a pretty good chance up until lunch. Just when we sat down in the galley we could watch the weather deteriorating and with it the mood of the winter-overs who have been trying to get out for some time now.
Update: It turns out that the weather in McMurdo deteriorated very rapidly yesterday. The last airplane to leave McMurdo safely made it back there. The second one, which had most of the passengers on board, had a bit of a hard time landing. To quote one of the passengers: “The weather was awful at landing with 37 knots cross winds and the pilot had to try 3 times before nailing a landing, 1/2 the plan barfed, it was fun and tragic. I am amazed we managed to land”. The third South Pole bound plane, the one that took off first and actually made it here and circled for a while, had to reroute to Terra Nova Bay. A fourth LC-130 had to land at Terra Nova Bay as well on its way back from the WAIS camp.
[tags]Antarctica, South Pole, LC-130, Weather, WAIS, Terra Nova Bay[/tags]
I am getting ready to leave the South Pole (if we ever get some flights). There is a lot of activity like moving, packing, sending boxes and cleaning up my computer accounts. While sorting through files on my computer I stumbled upon a video of a cryo run I took in March. I never posted it. Hey, better late than never. “Cryo Nick” is the driver and I just hang on to the dewar, holding the camera, and trying not to fall off.
We pick up the big 250l dewar from BICEP, drive over to QUAD to pick up a couple of 100l dewars and then make our way across the skiway to the cryo facility.
Another group of winter-overs is about to leave and the weather hasn’t been cooperating. Yesterday we had more than 20 knt winds and the visibility was pretty bad.
Today it looks much better here, but things aren’t that great in McMurdo and the forecast isn’t that good for South Pole either. The first flight of the day is already canceled and the others keep getting delayed.
We’ll see how the toasty winter-overs will deal with more delays. I’m just glad I am not leaving yet.
Update:All flights got canceled until Monday. [tags]South Pole, Antarctica, LC-130, Weather[/tags]