December 6, 2012
The last couple of days have blurred into what feels like a week’s worth of activity – two recoveries and one deployment yesterday. The weather was easily Condition 2 out on the sea ice. It was difficult to orient yourself considering that you couldn’t really see clearly more than 100 feet in front of you or so. Especially when you’re working out on sea ice, with minimal landmarks in the first place, working in conditions like this can leave you feeling disoriented. We were searching for an animal who was essentially in the middle of McMurdo Sound. We put a VHF tag inside our fish hut just as extra security, we were using GPS coordinates from our tags, driving out into the sound hoping to come close enough to our tagged animal to see them and thus recover them. It was like Hansel and Grettle setting down breadcrumbs to find their way home. We did all of this as an extra security precaution. Yet, I have to admit that even though all this amazing weather this year has been great, I think it’s conditions like yesterday that make me truly love being down here. I love the big storms that come through, the storms that threaten to knock me flat on my back and challenge my ability to persevere and complete my research regardless. We were out all day yesterday and had the same schedule today. Although today, was a gorgeous day. It was so warm that we worked without the onion, most of us wearing only a couple of layers, and during lunch we quite literally laid out and basked in the sun. Coming back into town, I saw several men standing around the Derelict Junction (DJ) in front of the dorms passing around a football wearing jeans and sweatshirts. It seemed so bizarre to see something so normal in a place like Antarctica, a place that is simply anything but normal. It’s bizarre how it happens, but somehow you find yourself in a place where living here and working here just becomes…. Normal.
We’re coming down to the home stretch. Markus leaves on Monday and we are done deploying tags on animals after tomorrow! It’s 9 pm and I am literally falling asleep at my computer as I attempt to create more models as I, yet again, attempt to catch up and stay up with the speed at which we are tagging animals. Hopefully two more animals tomorrow and then it’s all recoveries, modeling, and packing up all of our gear from here on out. Can’t believe it, but somehow the end is drawing nearer, and another season has passed by without me realizing how quickly time was passing.
Weather on Wednesday December 5, 2012:
Temperature: 28.4°F or -2°C
Wind Chill: 14.7°F or -9.7°C
Visibility (miles): Unrestricted
Winds (knots): S @ 19
Weather on Thursday December 6, 2012:
Mean Temperature: 1.4°C with a high of 5.0°C OR 34.52°F with a high of 41°F
Average Winds: 7 knots