This season I was lucky enough to have a several week gap in between our two projects and was able to spend some time in New Zealand with Becky on the North Island in between my two contracts. The first project was called SIMPLE (see the following link for information on the project)
I am currently in Christchurch, New Zealand waiting to fly south for part two of the 2014-2015 season and the conclusion of the WISSARD hot water drilling (see http://www.wissard.org for updates on this season’s work).
South African Air L-100
Glow Worm Caves
After 5 days of storms the sun has returned. We have yet to complete a full day of outdoor work due to weather. Hopefully tomorrow we can get outside all day.
The Beverly Hilldrillers
Part of coming to Antarctica every season is taking safety and training classes…lots of them. The Cold Weather survival course is taught by some pretty experienced mountaineers. Many of them guide on Denali in the off season.
Snowmobile training class
These used to be seals
Today we had the real deal Antarctica. We started off the day working on the drill. It was a bit cloudy and cold but didn’t seem to be all that worrisome.
Within a matter of minutes we had 30-40 mph winds and white out conditions. We were forced to pack up camp and trundle on back inside for a safety stand down. Station declared condition 1 weather which is not safe to be out working in.
I wouldn’t be down here on the Ice without the support of my wife, Becky (Boss #1). I am thankful everyday on the Ice that she understands why I come here and allows me to do so. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Also shown are Becky’s housemates and moral support team Taiga and (a new addition to the family) Ginger.
It seems like just yesterday that I was in a rental car eating beef jerky with two strangers driving north from San Francisco to Eugene Oregon on my last leg of the trip home from Antarctica. I had made it all the way to San Fran and it was beautiful weather. An ideal day for flight. However, Chicago didn’t agree and had log jammed most air traffic to and from the West coast. So, I found two other guys needing to go North and we drove 12 hours to arrive in Eugene at 1 AM. Becky met me in Eugene after a couple cups of coffee and an hours drive in the rain. She hadn’t seen me without a beard in several years and was slightly concerned to be remembered what my face actually looked like.
The year flew by and I’m back down on the ice again for two hot water drilling projects (more on that in a later post.) Folks always say that your first season on the ice is for the adventure, your second is for the money and the 3rd is because you don’t fit in anywhere else. I haven’t exactly been following that model but close. My antarctic evolution would look something like this:
Season 1; Adventure (everything is new). I’d work for free. I love this.
Season 2: Adventure (more familiar but still new enough). This is awesome. So happy to get paid to this.
Season 3: Adventure (very familiar, this is awesome…still) Nice to see familiar faces and get more experience hot water drilling. This is awesome. This work and environment feeds my soul. Can someone please teleport Becky down?
Following this post will be some pictures taken on the trip down and of the few days I’ve been on the Ice for season 3. Stay Tuned.