Some luxuries again!

    I made it back to McMurdo Station and the first thing I did was shower and do laundry! The water had been under maintenance at the South Pole before I left so I was happy to be clean again.

    Then I went to the coffee house and had a LATTE. Oh my goodness I didn't know how much I had missed espresso and real milk! (We only drink dehydrated milk at the South Pole.)

    Coffee in a coffee house
    THE BEST COFFEE EVER. Though I may be biased. Photo by Elaine Krebs.


    I kept myself busy hiking around the station. I forgot what hills were after staring at the white expanse for a while. Thanks to living at altitude for 3 weeks I feel like I am in the best shape ever and basically sprinted up Ob Hill. (Okay it was fast walk but still.)

    View looking up at Ob Hill
    Some people were running up it! I wasn't THAT crazy! Photo by Elaine Krebs.

    View from ObHill looking down at McMurdo Station and the Ross Sea
    The view from up here is amazing! Photo by Elaine Krebs.

    Tour of the PolarStern

    The icebreaker was still docked for one more day so I was able to tour it! It was so cool to see. It reminded me a lot of the South Pole with everything you need in one place. They even turned the old helicopter hanger into a gymnasium/movie night area.

    The PolarStern Icebreaker in McMurdo Station
    The PolarStern! I remember seeing it WAY on the horizon before I left. It was so cool to see up close! Photo by Elaine Krebs.

    Elaine holding the steering wheel of the icebreaker
    They let me in the captain's seat! Just kidding it's not a seat! Captains stand for their whole shift! Photo by Elaine Krebs.

    View out the bridge of the icebreaker at the stern
    Standing in the bridge - looking towards the stern of the icebreaker. It's so impressive! Photo by Elaine Krebs.

    Power Plant and Water Plant

    Shoutout to Aram the Amazing (the paramedic who RAT tested us) for telling literally all of McMurdo about what I was doing. When I got back, his friends Ivan and Tom showed me around the Power Plant and Water Desalination Plant. It was SO cool to see!

    Picture of one generator in the powerplant
    This is just ONE generator of ONE power plant. There are two plants with four generators plus three windmills! Photo by Elaine Krebs.

    Water plant with pipes coming up from the ocean
    All the water is pumped in from the ocean and desalinated! Photo by Elaine Krebs.

    I found Bill!

    It was also fun to reconnect to all the people I met in New Zealand who were still in McMurdo Station - like Bill and his team! We hung out for a while and I finally got to see the inside of all these buildings, since I wasn't allowed previously while in isolation.

    Bill holds up samples
    It's Bill! It was so fun to see what they had been up to the past few weeks! Photo by Elaine Krebs.

    Ariel points at her footage of microorganisms
    It's THE Ariel Waldman! She has the best footage and I can't wait to see the finished product!

    Tune in TOMORROW to watch Bill Henske's live event about his team's research in the Dry Valleys of Antarctica!

    Elaine holds up 2 Antarctic LEGO figures
    I found PolarTrec Polly! The LEGOs that were left here years ago for fellow PolarTREC teachers to find and sign their names :) Photo by Elaine Krebs.

    Back to New Zealand/the Real World

    I am now landed in New Zealand back in the real world. :( I will keep you updated on my next set of adventures!

    McMurdo Station
    Weather Summary
    Partially cloudy. HOT. Unless you're facing the wind
    16 F
    Wind Speed
    15 MPH
    Wind Chill
    7 F


    Bill Henske

    It was great to see you again. Im glad you got to be a tourist in McMurdo and hit up all the sights/ sites. I was going to check Polly today to see if you remembered.