Hi All! This is my first post on the AMRC “On the Ice Blog” and it is long overdue! I noticed that Masha has been posting a lot so I will be brief about the things we did in common. An introduction is in order: My name is Joey Snarski and I have been working at the AMRC for about 2 years now. I am visiting McMurdo to replace a computer and complete other general computer maintenance.
I arrived at Pegasus Field (the ski-way) where the planes land. After stepping off the LC-130 aka a “herc” and taking my first few breaths of cold Antarctic air I was greeted by the looming Mt. Erebus. Mt. Erebus stands about 12,500 ft and is the farthest south active volcano on the planet. I rode into town on Ivan the Terrabus and stepped into the chalet around 10:30 pm local time. After a brief orientation, Lee Welhouse was kind enough to take me around town and get me set with bedding and a dorm and a bit of food. I was exhausted and just discovered I had happy camper training the next morning at 8:15 am. I hit pillow around 1:00 am and was out.
Happy Camper training was a blast. I did all of the same tests that Masha did with the white bucket and such. We had a rather small group of 10 but we bonded over our tasks and had unusually good teamwork which led to us typically completing our tasks sometimes hours in advance. I spent the night in a two man snow trench with another happy camper, John.
After Happy Camper I spent some time familiarizing myself with the place I would call home for the next 3 weeks. Lee introduced me to several key people who would be able to assist me with my work and any questions I may have since Lee and Masha were scheduled to fly out to WAIS soon (and they did! They finally had a successful flight!)
Since then I have spent much of my time working in our lab space in Crary Lab and at my desk in Mac Weather. In fact, the other day the weather observer on duty, Kyle, was kind enough to take me down to where he launches the weather balloons and actually let me launch it! It was kind of weird to let go of the balloon and the attached radiosonde. It’s typically against all instinct to let go of electronics like that.
To pass my free time I have been hiking down to hut point and capturing some great pictures. I was there photographing the same penguins that Alasdair photographed (as seen in Masha’s post). When the penguins weren’t standing on land they were typically swimming near the surface until they would suddenly dive down, probably in pursuit of food.
I have also been shooting a good bit of pool at one of two local bars, Southern Exposure or “The Southern” for short.
I expect to be going on some more impressive hikes soon and will be posting again once I have some more great pictures to share! Until then, stay warm!