Two blog posts in two days! This has to be a record. Not sure if I can keep up this pace…
I realized that I wanted, but forgot, to include a picture in my first post, one that shows all the cold weather gear I was issued for this year. It gives a good idea of what we need to wear when doing field work.
You can see that we get plenty of clothing to keep us warm in the harshest of conditions. Wearing all of this around McMurdo may be overkill right now, however and as you’ll see in pictures below, since it’s so warm here. The high at McMurdo yesterday, 5 January, was 42.8 F, and it’s supposed to be just as warm on the 7th. It’s 41 F as I’m writing this. It’s incredible how warm it is! This January has been warmer than average so far. It will be interesting to see how long this will continue.
Given this warmth, and a nice sunny day yesterday, Melissa, Lee and I took a walk out to Hut Point before dinner. Last year I came to the ice in December (which is on average colder than January) so I was excited to see the open water around Hut Point. I was amazed at how much open water there was! This bodes well for my attempt at sighting my first penguin in Antarctica.
Today, the three of us agreed that we were smart to take advantage of yesterday’s good weather and go to Hut Point. There has been more cloud cover, though not complete sky coverage, today. Simply not as aesthetically pleasing, but it has still managed to get plenty warm. Melissa and I began our onslaught of trainings this morning with the Antarctic Field Safety Refresher training. We went over important things to consider when planning and conducting field work, medical issues that result from being in the cold such as hypothermia and frostbite, reviewing how to pitch and secure tents, and reviewing helicopter transportation. This is important for both of us, as we will be going out into the field. It was good to relearn some of the things that had become fuzzy in my mind after a year’s break. After that training session, Lee, Melissa and I talked with some groups about our upcoming travel plans for our work.
By the end of this week, we all should be done with our training and ready to tackle the field work.
I hope all of you in the US are handling the cold snap like champs!