Travel Log: 10 December 2001

Dateline: 7:50 AM Monday, 10 December 2001
South Pole

Temp: -24.1°C / -11.3°F
Windchill: -44.8°C / -48.5°F
Wind: 13.7 knots, Grid 045
Barometer: 676.1 mB (10772 feet)

Randy writes:

It seems like we just arrived and got used to the cold and the altitude and now it is time to go. South Pole is a very small station, so when your work is done you leave as soon as you can so that others can do theirs.

We all got up early this morning to finish packing up our gear and with the hope that the skies would clear so we could capture more images. But thus far it is still cloudy.

Our flight is supposed to leave McMurdo at 8:30AM so we will soon find out if it is delayed or even canceled due to the weather.

More from McMurdo if not from here!

The penguin makes a few more friends at Pole before leaving. Giles Novak (from the SPARO project) suggests the name "Tough Guy" for the penguin. Alex Brown, the Assistant South Pole Station Area Manager, thinks "Snuggles" or "Squishy" would be a better name.
Giles and penguin Alex and penguin

Jason waits in the "International Passenger Terminal" for the plane to unload, then Vivian and Jason lug their gear to the LC-130.
Jason in terminal leaving

The Transantarctic Mountains on the way back, and Jason is still at work filming the plane's interior.
mountains mountains mountains Jason working

Dateline: 6:30 PM Monday, 10 December 2001
McMurdo, Antarctica

Temp: 28°F
Windchill: 8°F
Wind: Easterly at 12 knots
Partly cloudy, Condition 3 (= best/safest condition)

Our flight from Pole was very quick today, under 3 hours. Jason, Vivian and myself all immediately showered as soon as we could, then we had dinner with lots of fresh vegetables and salad - a real treat compared to Pole.

The weather here is warm in comparison to what we had become used to. We have all forgone our long underwear. Tonight there is a lecture on the heroic age of Antarctic exploration about Ernest Shackelton, the famous explorer.

The sea ice runway used on the flight from Christchurch has been disassembled. The entire airport infrastructure was moved to Williams Field (Willy Field) which is on the more stable ice of the Ross Ice Shelf. The ride to McMurdo is a bit longer but the view is more dramatic. Here, Giles disembarks from the plane, and the shuttle transports the passengers to the McMurdo base. On the way the riders have great views of Mt. Erebus (the active volcano) and Castle Rock.
Giles shuttle Erebus Castle Rock

Go on to the
next day...