Katie Joy, Recon team, 23rd January 2013
The ANSMETrecon team left South Pole on the 21st Jan (see photo of the LC-130 plane that transported us), are now back in McMurdo. We are currently waiting for our cargo to be delivered from the South Pole and from the field site at the Klein Glacier so that we can start the clear up process. Whilst we were at the Pole at Twin Otter crew managed to fly back to our last camp at SzaboBluff and pick up the remainder of our gear we had left behind, and fly it back to the Klein Glacier site where it will be picked up by a bigger LC-130 plane to be returned to McMurdo. Thank you to the Twin Otter crew for all the heavy lifting work, and for everyone who has worked on the logistics of getting us in and out of the field. When the cargo gets here we will be washing our used kitchen items and the stoves, returning our left over food, and sorting out all the trash and that we generated in the field. We will try and recycle as much trash as is possible from our trip.
It is good to be back in McMurdo and meet up with the members of the systematic team (Mini, Marianne, Tom and Stan) who left the field last week. Hopefully Jim, Andrew and Rob will be back with us in town very soon from their field site at Ottway. Yesterday, after doing some tidying up in the morning and whilst we are waiting for our cargo to arrive, several of us took a walk up Observation Hill which sites just to the south of McMurdo Station. This peak is a volcano, which erupted about 1-2 million years ago, and from the top is a magnificentview of the region around McMurdo: to the north McMurdo Station, and beyond is sea ice and then open ocean; to the east the active Mt. Erebusvolcano; to the south-east is the New Zealand Scott Base and sea ice pressure ridges which now included patches of open water; to the south is sea ice and beyond is White Island and Black Island; to the west are some patches of ice free sea and the airstrip, and beyond is the Royal Society Mountain Range which is part of the TransantarcticMountains. The 180 degree panorama photo shows a view north of McMurdo town at centre, where the large cylindersin the foreground are full storage facilities, the Royal Society Range is left and Mt. Erebusis right. The hill gets its name as it was used as an observation site by members of Scott’s expedition to try and spot him returning from the South Pole. The wooden cross at the top commemorates that his team never returned from their exploring. We have heard that penguins have been seen in the area so we are all on keen look out to catch sight of one over the next few days so that Priscilla (our recon team camp penguin) can return to her friends.