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Ice is alive

December 14, 2009

This will be quick, because I’m getting ready for yet another helicopter journey tomorrow morning (I’ve had once since I wrote last). This time I’m going out with the carpenters to take down a large and complicated floor, that used to be part of a structure that housed a very very fancy robot named Endurance (speaking of which, if any of you haven’t read the novel Endurance about Shackleton’s crew getting marooned down here, rush out and get a copy). Endurance was used to go under the ice of Lake Bonney in the Dry Valleys, but his season’s over, and now nine of us get to go out and take down what’s left of his old home. It should be a good time! So rather than write too much, I’ll just post some pictures of the last two weeks. The first few are from my one day junket to Black Island, which is where all of the communications equipment for McMurdo lives. I went over to inventory it. It’s only about a 10 minute helicopter ride away, and you can actually see Black Island from town, but it was still a great trip. Then the other pictures are from a tour of the Pressure Ridges, which are beautiful beautiful formations formed when sea ice gets pressed up against land (by nearby glaciers, currents, wind, etc). First the ice ripples a little bit. Then the ripples grow bigger and bigger, and they turn into swells that look like rolling waves. Then when the pressure gets too great, they crack at the top, and when the cracked ice is further compressed, strange and beautiful ice sculptures are made…

One Comment leave one →
  1. Julia permalink
    December 22, 2009 6:56 am

    Arrived via the Smith College Alumna facebook page, and just wanted to say, from one Smithie to another, you are awesome. And I am going to be following your adventures way down South from now on.
    You rock,
    JR, Smith College 2009

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