Travel Log: January 26th, 2000

January 26th, 2000

Milly and the British skiers get ready to come home

Randy writes:

We're in McMurdo, but may not get out for a while. There is a large backlog of flights waiting to get out! More later...

LFTEACH wrote:

>Hi ! It's sad for us that your trip is almost over. This has been sooooo
>exciting !
Far from over yet. I am at McMurdo which is in the Ross Sea. The earliest flight that I can catch to Christchurch is tomorrow. That flight is about 8 hrs, then I need to stay over one night in Christchurch, fly to Auckland, and then fly to the US. The flight to LA is over 12 hrs alone.

>Question : The pictures outside at the South Pole showed everyone wearing red
>coats and pants. Is there a reason ???
Yes and no. Yes, we all wear red because that is the color parka NSF issues to scientists. No, I do not know if there is a particular reason for the color. I have heard a lot of speculation, i.e. it is easy to see against a white background, but nothing definitive.

>Did you get to see any penguins near the coast ?
I am at the coast right now, and I personally have not seen any. However a large part of the Ross sea next to the base is no longer frozen, and people have recently seen penguins and orcas there.

>How was the bike ride ? Were there special wheels ? How would it feel at home
The bike was in the end very strenuous to ride. The gearing was too low so you ended up peddling really, really fast to not go very fast at all. The tires are very wide and have a small diameter, this was intended to help them float over the snow, but they ended up not having enough traction. I have ridden it in Chicago, and it would not be very fun to ride unless there was a lot of snow or sand around. It turned out to be very fun to ride down the piles of snow that are around the base. Although the South Pole is in the middle of a large plateau, they occasionally pile up snow for assorted reasons, and it was great fun to use the bike as an odd sled.

>Is Milly feeling better ? Are you ?
Milly is fully recovered. I am still fighting a cold and may even visit the base doctor.

Weather were I was at Pole and where I am at McMurdo
Weather for South Pole Station
01-26-2000 at 18:51 Z
Temperature -33.2 C -27.6 F
Wind 349 At 5.1 Knots
Windchill -39.5 C -39 F
Barometer 683.1 mB
Physio Altitude 10508. ft

27 JANUARY 2000
REGIONAL WEATHER SUMMARY: An upper level high-pressure system will strengthen over the eastern Ross Ice Shelf. This will begin pushing into the Transantarctic Mtns, increasing winds driving clouds into the McMurdo area late.
TODAY: Mostly cloudy.
Visibility (mi): Unrestricted.
Wind (knots): Northeast 10-15.
High: +01C/+34F.
Lowest Wind-chill: -18C/-01F.
TONIGHT: Mostly cloudy.
Visibility (mi): Unrestricted with period of 3-4 in snow.
Wind (knots): Southeast at 10-15.
Low: -05C/+23F.
Lowest Wind-chill: -20C/-05F.
FRIDAY: Cloudy.
Visibility (mi): 3-7 in snow.
Wind (knots): Southeast 10-15 with gusts to 25.
High: -01C/+30F.
Lowest Wind-chill: -16C/+03F.

Click on any small image to retrieve a larger one...

A last few pictures in front of the geographic and ceremonial poles before heading home.

OK, we ARE a little punchy here!

Milly says her last goodbyes to some new (and old) friends. She's obviously feeling a bit better today, as she's climbing over Andre Phillips (from the University of New South Wales, Australia) and Bob Pernic (from Yerkes Observatory, Wisconsin, USA).

Getting ready to go!

Landing at McMurdo

The ride from Williams Field to the Terminal.

The Crary Science and Engineering Center at McMurdo -- the center of NSF operations.

For Steve's Travel Log, see the Ice Prowler website.

Go on to the
next day...