Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Flags Fly at Explorers Cove

We have arrived at field camp and school flags are flying. (One more is on the way.) Weather delays and equipment failures have created setbacks, but we hope to catch up over the next few days. More photos soon!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

(un)Happy Camper School

New field members (or those who have been absent from the U.S. Antarctic Program for 5 or more years) are required to take a two-day survival training class on the ice, and sleep one night in snow trenches, igloos, and bivouac shelters that they build. This "Happy Camper" program teaches you to be smart and avoid rescue situations. For some it's a fun experience; for others it's a nightmare ...

Conditions in McMurdo make me think that the four B-043 team members in the class will be unhappy campers tonight.

Henry Kaiser took this IR picture of me checking outside conditions from the comfort of the Crary Lab. Wind-blown snow obscured the view, and I could feel the cold oozing through the window. (Ooops, that statement will get my thermodynamics prof turning in his grave ... OK, it's heat transferring from the air surrounding the window that I'm perceiving.)

Everyone in B043 will certainly learn a lesson tonight.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


All team members are now at McMurdo Station. We've completed check-out dives and are packing bags for Camp New Harbor. Hopefully the weather clears and helicopters start flying soon ...

We've been instructed to tread lightly on the "thin" (6ft/2 m) sea ice this year, and keep alert for cracks. We will certainly tiptoe on the frozen landscape ...