Oxygen

John Jacobsen
Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Home All Posts

Earlier post Ghost southpole

Later post Milvans and Container Malls southpole

Nov. 29, 2011 17:30 NZDT Crary Lab, McMurdo Station

Made it back to McMurdo where liquid water runs in the streets, mountains can be seen in all directions, helicopters take off and land every twenty minutes or so, and the oxygen flows thick and warm into your lungs.

Our flight to McMurdo had only five passengers. After packing a lunch and waiting with bated breath for the announcements from Comms indicating the plane’s arrival, I headed out, with Carlos, Sven, Ralf, Gary, Martin and David coming out as well to say farewell (thanks guys!). We took a few group photos in various combinations of cameras and individuals, and then those of us who were leaving headed onto the plane. There were no instructions of any kind from the crew (indeed, it would be hard to hear anything anyways)… just strap in and off you go… and so, in a few moments, we were aloft over the Polar Plateau.

6422979267_2b61220836_o.jpg

Figure 1: Leg room

I managed to sleep a bit after take-off (I’ve been up since 4 AM), slumped over and wrapped up in Big Red, with no shortage of leg room (the plane was nearly empty). Read a bit, ate my makeshift burrito-and-cookie lunch, and then took pictures out the windows for 45 minutes or so.

6422995953_8e45ab7e42_o.jpg

6422989141_acf68b71ca_o.jpg

6422985897_e5090d61fa_o.jpg

6422982013_2715577de7_o.jpg

6422977967_c4ec0dd7ce_o.jpg

6422968995_25b2447c7f_o.jpg

6422962887_5d76a53ca2_o.jpg

6422971347_88e7fdb6d1_o.jpg

After ten trips here, one thing I do not tire of or take for granted is the view from the plane of the Trans-Antarctic mountains. As a Midwesterner I have always found mountains to be a bit alien and fascinating, but mountains in Antarctica are ever more so. I think I’ve probably taken the same photos of the same features over and over again, but the terrain is stunning. It feels like looking down from orbit onto another planet — a land you know you will never set foot upon (and, in many spots, nor will anybody), but you cannot help but wonder what it would be like to see it up close.

6422999397_374ece43ca_o.jpg

Figure 10: Arriving in McMurdo

We arrived in McMurdo to a buzz of activity. There was a mass casualty drill just before we arrived; they are also packing up the Ice Runway in preparation to move out to Pegasus airfield, much further away from town. We had to wait for a shuttle into town for half an hour or so. When the shuttle did arrive, both passengers and crew from South Pole piled on, as well as other airmen, and crew and passengers from a Twin Otter flight arriving from somewhere out in that aforementioned crazy terrain. I had to ask around to figure out where I would be staying the night — finally I found my room, got some linens, headed off to Crary Lab for Internet access and now am about to head off to the dining hall for dinner. Tonight we weigh in with our bags and gear and should get the flight schedule for the trip back to Christchurch tomorrow.

Starting tomorrow, hopefully, I am going to get spoiled with a week of summer before heading back to the beginning of Chicago winter. But first, dinner.

Earlier post Ghost southpole

Later post Milvans and Container Malls southpole

Blog Posts (140)


Home

Reflections on a Year of Daily Memory Drawings art

Repainting art

Daily Memory Drawings art

Questions to Ask art

Macro-writing Macros code clojure

Lazy Physics code clojure

Fun with Instaparse code clojure

Nucleotide Repetition Lengths code clojure

Updating the Genome Decoder code clojure

Getting Our Hands Dirty (with the Human Genome) code clojure

Validating the Genome Decoder code clojure

A Two Bit Decoder code clojure

Exploratory Genomics with Clojure code clojure

Rosalind Problems in Clojure code clojure

Introduction to Context Managers in Python code python

Processes vs. Threads for Integration Testing code python

Resources for Learning Clojure code clojure

Continuous Testing in Python, Clojure and Blub code clojure python

Programming Languages code

Milvans and Container Malls southpole

Ghost southpole

Turkey, Stuffing, Eclipse southpole

Wind Storm and Moon Dust southpole

Shower Instructions southpole

Fresh Air and Bananas southpole

Traveller and the Human Chain southpole

Reveille southpole

Drifts southpole

Bon Voyage southpole

A Nicer Guy? southpole

The Quiet Earth southpole

Ten southpole

ISO50 southpole art

In Defense of Hobbies misc code art

Closure southpole

Takeoff southpole

Mummification southpole

Eleventh Hour southpole

Diamond southpole

Baby, It’s Cold Outside southpole

Fruition southpole

Settling In southpole

Revolution Number Nine southpole

Red Eye to McMurdo southpole

Faults in Ice and Rock southpole

Bardo southpole

Chasing the Sun southpole

Downhole southpole

Coming Out of Hibernation southpole

Managing the Most Remote Data Center in the World code southpole

Photoshop on a Dime art

Man on Wire misc

Posing Rigs art

Metric art

Cuba southpole

Wickets southpole

Safe southpole

Broken Glasses southpole

End of the Second Act southpole

Pigs and Fish southpole

Last Arrivals southpole

Lily White southpole

In a Dry and Waterless Place southpole

Immortality southpole

Routine southpole

Tourists southpole

Passing Notes southpole

Translation southpole

The Usual Delays southpole

RNZAF southpole

CHC southpole

Wyeth on Another Planet art

Detox southpole

Packing southpole

Nails southpole

Gearing Up southpole

Gouache, and a new system for conquering the world art

Fall 2008 HPAC Studies art

YABP (Yet Another Blog Platform) southpole

A Bath southpole

Green Marathon southpole

Sprung southpole

Outta Here southpole

Lame Duck DAQer southpole

Eclipse Town southpole

One More Week southpole

IceCube Laboratory Video Tour; Midrats Finale southpole

SPIFF, Party, Shift Change southpole

Good things come in threes, or 18s southpole

Sleepless in the Station southpole

Post Deploy southpole

Midrats southpole

IceCube and The Beatles southpole

Video: Flight to South Pole southpole

The Pure Land southpole

Almost There southpole

There are no mice in the Hotel California Bunkroom southpole

Short Timer southpole

Sleepy in MacTown southpole

Superposition of Luggage States southpole

Sir Ed southpole

Shortcut to Toast southpole

Pynchon, Redux southpole

Flights: Round 1 southpole

Packing for the Pole southpole

Goals for Trip southpole

Balaklavas southpole

Tree and Man (Test Post) southpole

Schedule southpole

How to mail stuff to John at the South Pole southpole

Summer and Winter southpole

Homeward Bound southpole

Redeployment southpole

Short-timer southpole

The Cleanest Air in the World southpole

One more day (?) southpole

One more week (?) southpole

Closing Softly southpole

More Photos southpole

Super Bowl Wednesday southpole

Night Owls southpole

First Week southpole

More Ice Pix southpole

Settling In southpole

NPX southpole

Pole Bound southpole

Bad Dirt southpole

The Last Laugh southpole

Nope southpole

First Delay southpole

Batteries and Sheep southpole

All for McNaught southpole

The Big (Really really big…) Picture southpole

t=0 southpole

Giacometti southpole

Descent southpole

Video Tour southpole

How to subscribe to blog updates southpole

What The Blog is For southpole

Home