Well I’m still in McMurdo. The traverse (our heavy machines that dragged our heavy drill equipment and labs 610 miles to the field site) made it to SLW (they left in late December). The team that was supposed to get there first (you know, me), however, still hasn’t. Weather weather weather. Oh and a med evac somewhere else on continent. Oh and the Prime Minister of New Zealand is coming later this week.
So now we wait for a good day to fly. We did fly once. Last Friday, Team GPS took off with all our gear and flew for 2 hours across the Great Ice Barrier (the Ross Ice Shelf). We descended toward the landing site through the typical cirrus clouds. And we just never quite found the bottom of it. The pilots (rightfully!) don’t descend past 3000 feet without seeing the ground and we surely could see none of that. A quick circle to check again and back to McMurdo. Read more about our ” boomerang” over at JT’s blog.
Now that the traverse is on site, hopefully we will have a better idea of the weather on Whillans is and can get out ASAP.
Until then, I’ll be writing or editing papers. And crossing every limb, doing every rain dance (or anti-rain dance?), and generally shaking my fist at the sky until the weather submits to my wishes. Such is life for deep field scientists in Antarctica—I’ve only been in McMurdo for 2/3s as long as I was last year.
On the outreach front: I’m now famous. Explorations Magazine did a piece on WISSARD and included a few pictures I took, which you can read here. There’s also a rumor going around that there will be an article about us in Science Times this week. The McMurdo Rumor Mill, however, is a doozy, so you never know.