Last Week of Winter

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    Well this is the last week of winter for the 400 of us here at McMurdo, Next
    week the winter-overs will leave for the warm climate of New Zealand.. In 7
    days the summer crew of 800 or so new people will arrive.. With them comes
    fresh food, mail, and new germs…

    So with 800 of my closest friends showing up soon things will get busy, well
    that's if the airfield gets done..

    You see we have 3 airfields here in the McMurdo region. Pegasus, Williams
    Field, this is the snow skiway where only the skied LC-130 Cargo planes
    land, and the Ice Runway, This is what we use first in the season, then to
    Willy for operations to the South Pole starting about December 1st.

    The Sea Ice Runway, is exactly that, its groomed sea ice that's about 6 to 8
    feet thick, and several thousand or so feet of water under it. Its thick
    enough to land the air forces largest cargo plane. one of the problems is
    that due to an iceberg that blocks the flow of ice out to sea in the summer
    the old ice from last year never had the chance to flow out to see and open
    the channel. This “build-up” of ice has created a nightmare for the crews
    working to get it ready, the ice from what i have been told is “flaking off”
    its not easily scraped and when they do it comes off in large chunks… it
    should come off easy, like when you scrap fine frost off your car windows in
    the winter.

    So hopefully in the next 7 days they will get it finished.. Here is one of
    the pics i took from town of one of the large snow blowers out on the
    runway, when its windy the snow trail they make looks like it goes for
    miles.. Cool huh..?

    We had out last full moon, or the last full moon we will be able to see till
    i get home in March. Here is a pic of that..

    Today we had some interesting sunsets.. they sky was very clear and the
    piercing sun has shown its mark in all the windows of my dorm and the
    firehouse.. it seems that the sun is so bright here, after months of sun i
    think i will be afraid of the dark again ha-ha…



    Christopher Post
    United States Antarctic Program
    McMurdo Station Antarctica
    Lehigh County Emergency Management
    Allentown, PA
    E-Mail :
    Amateur Radio: N3SIG / ZL5CP

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