On Tuesday, November 8th we took a helicopter out to Cape Bird. Since Cape Bird is an exciting place and we were a light load on the helicopter, the hairdresser at McMurdo, Alicia, was invited to come with us as well. We landed at Cape Bird and 3 New Zealanders (Kiwis) told us we landed too close to the penguins. This always seems to happen…. The Kiwis at Cape Bird are studying penguins, so they are extra protective of that area. Once we landed we hiked up the steps with our gear and replaced the aerovane in about 30 minutes. We successfully saw the wind was reporting correctly on the keypad, and then we were free to head back down the hill and take some photos of the penguins. Unfortunately, we had to wait about 2 hours for the helicopter to pick us up. It only got windy about the last 30 minutes, and I got to ask Alicia a lot of questions about hair, so it all worked out fine! The helicopter picked us about 200 feet further from the penguins so the Kiwis wouldn’t be upset.
On Wednesday, November 9th after 5 hours of being on a weather delay for high winds, we eventually got out to White Island and Minna Bluff. We first flew to White Island and all we needed to do there was a quick inspection. Everything looked correct! Then we flew to Minna Bluff to replace the high wind speed sensor. We switched out the sensor in about 15 minutes and checked to see if it was transmitting correctly. We successfully saw the wind speed was reporting correctly on the keypad, and then we headed back to McMurdo. For the record, I’m glad we waited for the wind to calm down because the skies were clear with temperatures in the 20’s and low wind; a good day in Antarctica!
Thursday and Friday we were cancelled to go on the Twin Otter because of weather. I used that time to try and catch up on a lot of lose ends with our data transfer processing. I’m also in the process of trying to get a weather display running in Crary Lab. It’s still not working 100% yet but we’re getting closer.
On Friday night we got to see John Kerry talk in the Galley. He spoke about the beauty of Antarctica, and how much he appreciates the work that we’re doing in Antarctica. He emphasized the need to continue fighting to protect our climate. Overall, it was a very fun experience!
Dave Mikolajczyk is currently in Christchurch, NZ, and he should be joining the team early this week!