Travel Log: 17 December 2001

Dateline: Monday, 17 December 2001
McMurdo Base

Randy writes:

Our storm may have moved on now, it looks clear -- well, clearer -- out. We can see the mountains and the predictions are good.

Last night to kill some time Jason, Vivian and myself went bowling. Now although this is my eighth time through McMurdo, until last night I did not know where the alley was. Now I do and it was quite an experience.

The lanes have lots of local features like dips and curves; this is a harsh continent that is not very kind to wood! The really wild part was that people, not machines, reset the pins. You have to look for feet in the lane before you bowl. The pin setters jump down after your shot, clear out the knocked down pins, and then hop back up on a little perch between shots.

Of our group Vivian is clearly the champion bowler, then comes Jason, and then trailing some distance behind comes me.

We are all really ready to go at this point but we still need to wait for the runway to be cleared and then for the planes to fly. A lot of people have been waiting since last Tuesday along with us and we are all really anxious at this point and bored.

Randy continues:

This time it looks like the weather has really broken. It was nice enough for us to walk over to Scott's Base the New Zealand station in the area. It felt great to be out of the few block area of the town and to get some fresh air.

snowdriftWe saw a few seals while we were there and were in a good enough mood to snap a few photos. We were really in a good mood when we saw lots of movement out on the ice runway at Willy Field. The heavy machinery is out and about being used to get rid of the huge snow drifts (the one in front of the library, at right, that Jason was scaling yesterday, is a baby drift) and to groom the runway.

The one disappointment of the day is that while Allan was added to our flight, Vivian is still not on it and she may have to wait a few days more to get out of McMurdo. Alan has been on the ice the longest and he is very much looking forward to the gardens of Christchurch.

Time to repack our bags and hope for the best, because one never knows what will happen.

The weary crew, humans and animals alike, pose with Allan Day at Scott Base. The bear and penguin check out how far it is to various major cities.
Scott Base how far?

Seal sighting near Scott Base.

Go on to the
next day...