Re: Cabin Fever


We have a variety of wildlife down here. Most all of it is in the summer. No polar bears, they are only in the northern hemisphere. Since we are on the ocean most of what we have are marine mammals and birds. Come November the Antarctic Skuas make their annual return to here to nest. They look a lot like a giant seagull but are somewhat preditary, feeding on the penguin nests, and anything else they can find. Some have learned that if they swoop down on people carrying food sometimes the food gets dropped and they get a free meal. We are bound by Antarctic Treaty rules not to feed them though. We have 2 penguins. The most common are the adelie penguins, which look like a cartoon penguin with a tuxedo. The other is the emperor penguins. They are tall and colorful and are mostly found out on the ice shelf. All of the mammals are marine. There are weddell seals, which look like giant slugs. They chew holes in the ice and come up to rest. From October to December the Cape Armitage trail is open. It connects McMurdo to Scott base walking around on the sea ice. At one point it nears the pressure ridges and cracks where the seals come up and you can walk right up past them. As long as they are not agitated and trying to get away then we are allowed to watch them. On rare occaisions there are also leapord seals, but I’ve never seen one. When the icebreakers come in and opens a path to open ocean we will get both minke and orca whales.In a couple of weeks they should be installing the ob tube again so we can look at the underwater life. In the dead of summer when the ice around hut point melts you can sometimes see jellyfish in the water.
So as you can see there is plenty to look at.