I am slowly getting used to the layout and pace of the station. I have been walking around jetlagged and sleep deprived, so all of the new information is going in slowly, most of it dropping all around me. The folks who work here know this and remind me to take it easy. There is a wonderful spirit of kindness here. Though the USAP staff can’t make the weather cooperate, they do everything else in their power to get grantees what they need to accomplish their project. For me that means coordinating all of my training, helping me gather the necessary gear for field camp and getting me to the middle of West Antarctica at the WAIS deep field camp.
Yesterday I had time to draw for a few hours, a very grounding experience. I also took a short walk around the base and finally got a full nights sleep so am much sharper today. Discovery Hut is on the edge of “town”, down one of the dirt roads that crisscross (higglety pigglety comes to mind) the collection of buildings that comprise McMurdo Station. It was nice to get away to Hut Point; it is kept unaltered from the days it was occupied by the Scott and Shackleton expeditions. It is corny, but I felt a bit spooked – my overly active imagination “felt” their presence – a product of too much explorer reading, no doubt.
It was about 10pm and the sun was low in the southeast. McMurdo sits at approximately 77° S, 166°E, so the sun turns around us, rising higher during the day and lower at “night”. I haven’t allowed myself to stay up late to see how low it gets. As I am a short-timer in McMurdo, my dorm is interior in the building, with no windows. It’s convenient for sleeping, but disorienting. Tomorrow I go out onto the Ross Ice Shelf to attend the two day Happy Camper Course. I will no doubt stay up late then and get a better sense of the light.
Here is a shot looking almost directly south. Observation Hill is on the left and in the distance is the edge of Black Island.
I am offline for two days while out on the ice at school. See you on Sunday (Saturday in the USA).