Andrew Beck, January 13th, 2013, Larkman Nunatak, G-058
As my tentmate Jim put it, “the last few days have been like a scene out of the movie Groundhog Day”. Yesterday, January 12th, we broke camp at Larkman Nunatak for the second time and tried to make our way to Mt. Cecily, our third field site. However, like Bill Murray’s character in Groundhog Day, we experienced deja vu and were turned back again, primarily for weather related reasons. We then came back to Larkman and made camp about 100 yards upwind from our campsite of the previous month. Today we had another bad weather day and at this point it is unlikely that we will have time to go to Mt. Cecily, our next move instead being to Otway Massif where we will be taken out of the field later this week.
As I write this on the evening of the 13th the winds are howling outside the tent at 20 knots and air temperature is hovering around -20 C. The weather has been like this for the better part of the day, starting somewhere mid-morning. While the weather has prevented any travel today, it did allow us the chance to discuss logistics for our upcoming ~30 mile trip to Otway. Tomorrow we plan to dig out the snow from today (my sled is half buried after 8hrs!), assess weight distribution among all the sleds, and discuss our travel plans with McMurdo. The bad weather day didn’t mean all work though; Jim, Rob and I had some fun playing card games in our tent this afternoon (thanks for the cards Tina!).
If our travel plans hold up that means the next blog post may be from Otway, the location where the season began six weeks ago and the location where we will leave the field in about the same number of days. Since most of today was spent in tents, I don’t really have a picture that sums up the goings on around camp today, so instead I chose picture that sums up the mood. The picture in this blog is a panorama of the camp at Larkman with Marianne ski-doing off into the “sunset” after a hard days work, or about as good as a “sunset” as you get when the sun is out 24 hrs a day. We are on the homestretch now and I think everyone is feeling a little bittersweet about ending up the season, but excited to get back home. Here is hoping the weather clears up and we can all go riding off into the sunset to Otway to conclude a wonderful year.