On the Ice

Angie and Taylor’s last week!

Angie and I were able to go out on Tuesday 6 Dec. to look for Ferrell AWS once again. Using some projected calculations, we set out and ended up finding the station! Our boondoggler, Hannah, that we brought with us to help was the one who spotted it from the back of the helicopter – we were very impressed! Ferrell AWS was quite short upon arriving, so we knew we needed to dig and raise quite a bit. The power system was about 6.5 ft deep and it was 15-20 kt winds the whole time we dug… Luckily once in the hole it helps to block the wind, but it was blowing some snow back into our hole so we needed to build a little wall with our bags. Thank goodness the wind died down a bit as we started to do the raise so we wouldn’t get too cold on the tower. We were able to have a second boondoggler come around this time as well, so we had two sets of extra hands to help finish off the work. We ended with a successful raise, adding about 8 ft of tower sections, and the station was transmitting!

Ferrell AWS before servicing
Angie (at the top), me (in big red), and Jason (on the ground) working on raising Ferrell AWS! Photo cred to Hannah
Ferrel AWS after servicing!

On Wednesday 7 Dec., it was planned to try to head to Alexander Tall Tower! once again with the riggers to finish raising the booms on that station. It was Condition 2 weather at the airfield when we were heading down there due to dense fog lowering the visibility, but we still went out as the flight was activated. Once we got to the airfield, the pilots said they were waiting out the fog as the forecast had said it should move out soon. Unfortunately, that was not the case and we waited in the Willie Field galley for about 1.5 hours before we needed to cancel since we would not have enough time out in the field and the fog was not going anywhere.

View of the ice shelf driving to Willie Field… not what you want to see when you are supposed to fly.
View outside the galley while we were waiting! The plane you can make out is an LC-130.

Angie and I didn’t and likely wouldn’t have gone out due to weather anyways on Thursday 8 Dec., and our off ice flight was scheduled for the 9th! We flew out that evening and made it to Christchurch early in the morning on the 10th. We had a flight cancellation and some hectic travel days, but we made it back to Madison on 11 Dec. Lee was getting trainings done and setting up meetings with people back in McMurdo while we packed up and travelled home! He will try to get out to some stations in these coming weeks.

Angie (right), me (next to her), and the two people next to us on the NZ C-130 heading to Christchurch. It was a tight squeeze fitting all the people and cargo on this flight!
Our first sunset in 6 weeks!

Overall, this was a successful season for Angie and me! We learned and experienced so much in our 6 weeks on the ice. Thanks for reading about our journey!



Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Angie and Taylor’s last week!

Comments are closed.