Dec 21st – Day 355 on Ice

Weather: Balmy, 30F positive! Calm winds and overcast.

Living the dream in McMurdo… been here for 12 days now. Weather delays, runway delays and crew turnover delays are the story of our escape from McM. As conditions warm for the summer here, the runway has deteriorated into a skiway, and so the US Antarctic Program needed to spin-up the US Air National Guard, which has LC-130s (C-130s equipped with skis).

First precipitation I’ve seen in about 12 months! Calm, warm and snowy was a strange combination.

I’ve been mostly running around, eating and sleeping. I’ve also gotten to play volleyball a few times here which was fun, and now constitutes the 2nd most I’ve ever played volleyball (next to at Pole). There have been some recreational activities that I’ve participated in too, such as the “Scott Hut 10k” run (which I placed 2nd in, of course) and the “Ob Hill Uphill” challenge (which I also placed 2nd in… not surprisingly).

Times from the Scott Hut 10k. I was pretty surprised by my time of 41 minutes… I think I might have still been inebriated from the night before :* ..

Both races I was blown away by some very nice person who happens to also be very fast! Beating my time of 7m48s in the uphill challenge (he got 6m36s!) and beating me in the 10k by about 4 minutes! Needless to say the only chance I have of beating him is in a distance race (which I will hopefully not be here for!! – the marathon is scheduled for Jan 10th).

Lounging on top of Castle Rock… This low-resolution image probably isn’t very easy to see anything, but ahead of my feet you can see a roadway splitting off to our two airfields (Williams to the left, and Phoenix to the right), as well as the green of Scott Base peaking around the hill.

It’s nice to be able to run around outside but I’m about ready to be home now. With the 2 flights per week from NZ to the US, the earliest I can hope for now is to arrive back in DC at 6am on Christmas morning! So long as I don’t get delayed bast Wednesday, I should make that timing.

Clouds rolling in over The Royal Society Range across the sound from McMurdo.

Fingers crossed that Santa and I cross paths on my way home, and I can make it back to spend the holiday with my family. It’s been over a year since I’ve seen my fiance, and needless to say it’s time to get back!

On the bright side, the person who left Pole on my original Nov 30th flight is still stuck in McMurdo… so ya know… at least I’m not that person!

One thought on “Dec 21st – Day 355 on Ice

  1. Dude, you dont get out of their soon, you will need to change your name to Allen Shackelton.

    And thank you for the hammock – I LOVE IT! Looking forward to much good lounging in the woods and by the lakes of Vermont.



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