At the end of my last blog post, I was updating you all on conditions from the storm as it was happening. It was very cool to be able to experience some intense Condition 2 weather in McMurdo. It’s amazing how quickly the visibility had dropped, and by how much. Here’s a picture from inside Crary, looking south toward the helo pad and the open water… But note that the open water is barely visible.
It stayed like this for an hour or so, then the snow let up and the visibility improved. The storm was far from over, though. The wind was relentless, and continued even into the next day. Here are a few pictures of the waves caused by the storm.
Those last two pictures of Hut Point were missing one very important thing: the Vessel. Due to the unusually large expanse of open water around McMurdo, the waves were larger and more powerful than normal and caused the ship to jostle in the pier enough to destroy it. It wasn’t safe for the ship to stay there, so it had to leave town. This is unfortunate because not all of the cargo from McMurdo had been loaded onto the ship. This may have a negative impact on many groups, as people here are trying their best to get all the cargo shipped. It just goes to show how much of an impact the weather can have down here, from us not being able to land on the ice shelf, to winds generating powerful waves that cause the departure of the Vessel.
To end on a positive note, a few days ago an Adelie penguin wandered into town. It was amazing that it got so far into town, given all the hustle-bustle of the area. One would think it wouldn’t want to be so close to so many unusual objects and creatures (humans).