Today the team made preparations for their upcoming camping trip to the Barwick Valley,which is in the Dry Valleys. In the afternoon we flew to Cape Royds to collect sediment samples. Cape Royds is used as a control site since most of the land is not disturbed by humans. However, the team also collects sediment samples at the helicopter landing sites there. Cape Royds also has a penguin rookery and a historic hut which we visited!
Ernest Shackleton is one of the great Antarctic explorers from the early 20th Century. He first came to Antarctica on Robert Falcon Scott's initial expedition in 1901, but returned again on his own in 1907. Shackleton built a hut at Cape Royds, which sits on the coast between McMurdo Station and Cape Bird. The hut was brought over from London, where it was pre-made in 1907 and purchased for 155 pounds. It was constructed over 10 days and by three weeks it was insulated.
Although this is our second historic hut in two days, the magic of stepping back in time is as great as it was yesterday at Cape Evans. I can imagine Shackleton and his men spending 14 months inside the small room.
Shackleton and 14 men spent over a year at the hut while conducting science expeditions. Shackleton had his own bedroom, but the other men shared 2-bed cubicles. The men built their beds out of cases and boards from shipping containers. They put wood shavings under blankets for mattresses. The men enjoyed decorating their cubicles. For example, two men created a book shelf out of cloth and placed Charles Dickens books on top of it. They called their cubicle "Number 1 Park Lane", a reference to a London Street. Professor David and Douglas Mawson, famous men on Shackleton's expedition, had scientific equipment in their cubicle and called their bunks "The Pawn Shop." Scrawled by beds were names of people on Shackleton's expedition--I wonder if they wrote those names on the walls themselves.
Although there were tight quarters, the team had some creature comforts. For example a cast iron cooking stove sits at the end of the hut. Shackleton and his men ate freshly baked bread and three warm meals every day from that stove.
Want to check out the hut for yourself? Find out more information and take a Google Tour of the hut here.
With our sampling complete and tour of the hut finished, we all had time to watch Adelie Penguins as they nested in their rookeries. This rookery is visited by Jean Pennycook--a former science teacher who now does research on the Adelies and communicates the science to educators and the public through her website: penguinscience.com.
Today's Ice POD is about lenticular clouds -- we saw some starting to form over Mt. Erebus as we waited for our helicopter to take us home! You can download a PowerPoint Slide of today's Ice POD by clicking here:18_icepod.pptx
Brought to you by...
Today's journal is brought to you by a student from Ms. Martinez's class in Eagle Pass ISD.