October 19, 2009 Hurry Up and Wait
I am finally in the Dry Valleys! Yeah! It is so beautiful here. Our camp is located on the shores of Lake Bonney in front of Blood Falls in the Taylor Glacier Valley. All you see when you look around is ice and rock. We got here on Monday by helicopter. It was my first time in a helicopter and it was awesome. We crossed the sea ice and then passed over mountain tops and glaciers. Words can't even describe what an incredible landscape it was.
Our game plan for the next couple of days is to set up camp and organize all our supplies that we will need at the tunnel site so that a helicopter can come and pick them up and deliver them for us. However, we have hit a couple of road blocks. Weather was bad the last couple of weeks so the communications people were unable to set up an internet connection in our camp and we are in a deep valley so we are having troubles getting our satellite phone to work. Hopefully they can get it up and running so I can post journals and communicate with the outside world (since you are reading this, I must have figured something out). Another road block was that as soon as we left McMurdo, the weather turned and helicopters were no longer allowed to fly out. We were glad that we hurried up and left McMurdo when we did, because we would still be stuck there. However, we don't have all of our supplies and we can't start carving the tunnel until we get our supplies. As a result we are just in a holding pattern. Helicopter flights were cancelled for today as well and we are running out of things to do in camp. There is so much to do and it is frustrating to just be sitting around when science needs to be done. We will just have to wait and see what happens.