Boarding helicopter at Lake Fryxell.
    Boarding helicopter at Lake Fryxell.

    A few days ago, we headed back to McMurdo Station, and we are here for about a week. We've been doing a lot of stuff here in "town" to get cleaned up after our field season. We literally have cleaned ourselves up with showers- that was FANTASTIC. We also have been returning a lot of gear and lab materials that we borrowed for use during the field season.

    Airing out tents.
    Airing out tents.

    The helicopter flight was exciting in that we got to see some live animals! This happened for a couple of reasons. One is that we fly over the sea ice, which is where many of the most interesting larger animals live (in contrast to the Dry Valleys, which have none). The other thing is that with warmer temperatures, the sea ice has been breaking up a little bit, allowing for animals to be a bit closer to the areas we were flying over.

    Although we were flying pretty fast, the helicopter pilot zigzagged some to give us views of the sea ice from above. None of my photos turned out that well, but here's what we saw:

    Sea ice breaking up
    Sea ice breaking up in McMurdo Sound.

    View of penguins in McMurdo Sound
    Penguins as seen from helicopter over McMurdo Sound.

    McMurdo Station, Antarctica
    Weather Summary
    Sunny, windy
    Wind Chill


    Kristen Lively

    What an incredible view of sea ice breaking! Students will be excited you saw penguins!

    Lucy Coleman

    The penguins were really fun to see, even if I only got the briefest of views!

    Rachel K

    Wow, those are pretty cool shots, kind of abstracts.