You know the feeling of getting somewhere and feeling like you never left? Arriving back in McMurdo Station is like. Multiplied by about a million. It could be because of its constant stuck-in-the-80s feel, or maybe just because it’s the same people, doing the same thing every year. Regardless, I definitely feel right at home writing a blog post in the same office (Crary 234) I wrote so many in last year.
Anyway, I haven’t even been here 24 hours yet and I’ve: met to plan out food, pulled dry food from the food room, pulled frozen food from the freezer, pushed all the food plus some other stuff through the cargo system, and took my Happy Camper refresher (the Happy Camper course from last year, condensed into 4 hours). My brain is mush right now, so no more thoughts on the day (though you can read about the food pull last year here. Biggest difference is we only took 240 chocolate bars this year, instead of the 503 the first time).
I write this because my friend/WISSARD outreach guru Susan asked about how planes drop cargo off at the field site. “Aha! I have a video of that!!” I thought I described this last year, but I can’t find the post, so a short summary…
The New York Air National Guard drops cargo off on the ice the same way they would in a combat zone: without stopping. It’s called a combat off-load and its the equivalent of pulling the tablecloth out from under the dishes on a table. Only replace the tablecloth with a 130,000 pound LC-130 aircraft (colloquially called a Herc). They touch down, unlatch the cargo, then speed up and the cargo falls out the back. As you’ll see in the video, there’s a reason we can’t have fresh eggs in the field. Here’s the video, taken by Ben Petersen (I was driving upstream to Subglacial Lake Whillans at the time).
Pretty cool, eh?
A quick programming note: I’ve finally made it big time! My blog is listed as an official blog on the WISSARD webpage. Waaahoo!