Its been a few days since the announcement of Gordon Hamilton's accident on Saturday, October 22nd and the team has slowly come to grips with this new unpleasant reality. The team has supported each other fully, the staff here at McMurdo have been exceptional, and the NSF has truly gone out of their way to make sure that we all are well and safe. The team has decided that science will stop this year and that the season needs to come to a close for this project - and as a result we have taken down the camp that we had begun to make our short-time home on the ice. It was with a heavy heart that I said goodbye to the team today as they boarded the plane back to New Zealand on their first hop back to the states.

    Camp On The ice
    The team's camp on the ice is at the left of the picture with the SPOT crew's camp to the right.

    I've decided to continue to stay here in McMurdo and the greater area doing educational outreach and participating in a wide variety of science projects that are occurring. The science that is conducted here in McMurdo and in Antarctica by scientists from around the world is multi-faceted - indeed there is more to do down here than penguins and glaciers! So stay tuned - there is still so much going on down here in Antarctica and I'm excited to share it with you all!

    Scott Base

    The community of individuals here at McMurdo are truly amazing. There is a warmth here that reminds me of the small towns of Alaska - like McCarthy and Kennicott - that I have spent so much time in. Last night I was invited down to New Zealand's Scott Base to see a concert with Warren Maxwell, part of New Zealand's Visiting Artist Program (and one of McMurdo's very own, Shawn, jumped in to play on the harmonica to bring a little bit of the US to the party). The Scott Base is decidedly different from the United State's McMurdo Station - seemingly having jumped from mainland New Zealand and the pages of a design magazine, it's complete with its own pub with dart board and pool table. Scott Base has a maximum capacity of 86 individuals (much smaller compared to McMurdo's 1200+) and there remains the hallmark of my polar experience, a sense of community that in this case crosses a fictional national border between the two bases.

    There is laughter and joy here in Antarctica between individuals that have just met, and long-time friends reacquainted on the ice - it is a model of what things could and should be like. It's easy to see why people return again and again to this remote and harsh place. There is certainly a beauty outside of every window and door (the views will never grow old) but there is an easiness and warmth that sometimes is lost in the "outside" world. Driving back to McMurdo on this chilly night (that's excessive since it's always chilly), the views were amazing as the sun continued its circling in the sky, never setting.

    Panorama above Scott Base
    On the road back from Scott Base to McMurdo, the views across the McMurdo Ice Shelf and the sea ice are expansive - stunning.
    Hello from Scott Base!
    Had to make a quick stop at the Scott Base sign on my way back to McMurdo!

    NZ Scott Base
    Weather Summary
    Beautiful clear and sunny day
    2°F (-17°C)
    Wind Speed
    2 mph
    Wind Chill
    -6°F (-21°C)