One of the reasons it has been difficult for me to keep in touch this season is the miserable state of the ice in Explorers Cove. Once again, we face a labyrinth. Perspective is difficult here. The ice pillars seen in this picture rise above my head!
Besides rough terrain, which makes navigating to dive holes difficult, the old (>10 yrs) ice is laden with sediment blown down from the Taylor Valley. These sandy dunes absorb the 24/7 sunlight, forming pools of meltwater. I do not look forward to navigating the melting ice surface over the next weeks.
Nor do I look forward to dealing with the miserable cold that is taking root in my throat. We call this illness "The McMurdo Crud." Despite strict sanitary habits, healthy diet, vitamins, and flu shots, there seems to be no stopping it. Half of our crew now has The Crud.
Unfortunately, this is no time to be sick ...