On the Ice

A new kind of canceled

Lee and I woke up to snow and windy weather in McMurdo. Despite this, we were still confirmed for our Twin Otter flight to Lettau AWS. Lettau is quite a ways away, so we hoped for good weather at the site and clearing up at Pegasus for our return. It was snowing even harder when we got to Pegasus and we spent a couple of hours on weather delay. At 10 am with the new forecast, however, we decided to try for Lettau.

Since the station is far away we were scheduled to refuel at the Wissard fuel cache ~90 mi away from our AWS site. The plan was to go to the site and refuel on the way back. It was sort of cloudy and I was snoozing on the plane, when I saw the fuel bladders really close. The light was so poor that I confused the snow surface with the cloud layer. It was a rough landing for our pilots, since the ground was so indistinguishable. Once we refueled we realized that the chances of us landing at Lettau are pretty grim – low cloud cover was even more persistent and landing at the sight would be too risky. We flew over to Lettau coordinates, but sure enough landing was out of the question. At the end of the Lee and I had a full day of flying, but did not get to visit Lettau site.

To make up for it, we did visit Willie Field AWS by the road to Pegasus and replaced the malfunctioning hardware part of the station. The station is now transmitting!

Wish us luck for the rest of the week, looks like we are gonna be busy all the way till bag drag.

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