Max and I went on R&R (rest and relaxation) for a week in McMurdo. They used to send people to Christchurch, but it was hard to get people to go back to Pole and winter after enjoying green grass and rain. It would be much harder for me to go back after that as well. So instead, we are sleeping in late, using internet all day(at Pole it is less than an hour a day if you don’t wake up for satellite), eating 24 hour pizza(we rarely have pizza at Pole), and taking walks by the bay. It has been a very nice break from work so far. Not many people chose to take R&R because the people who go to Pole usually don’t like McMurdo and the people who live in McMurdo usually think terrible things about life at Pole. They are VERY different. McMurdo is much more of a busy mining town that is very old. Pole is a single station that is much newer and we don’t have to share rooms. Polies joke that McMurdo people have never been to Antarctica since it is technically on Ross Island and a very different climate. I definitely prefer South Pole after spending a while at both stations. It is impossible to make connections with everyone here and things are much louder than at Pole.
The Ice Breaker got here a few days ago and is trying to break up the bay for vessel to arrive on the 26th or so. A few years ago the ice breaker was not even needed because it was open water at this time of year. This year they even had to delay vessel because the ice is still very deep. It often looks like the Ice Breaker is stuck because it makes very small movements and is always surrounded by ice.
This is a cool shot Max took of a helicopter bringing back a snowmobile from a field camp, flying right over the ice breaker.
Here is the new dock they built for Vessel. Since this photo the area on the right has been filled with containers that they are staging to be shipped out.
Max on top of Discovery Point admiring the ice breaker.
We really like taking photos of the ice breaker with Antarctic mountains.
The ice sheet is slowly starting to melt near the beach.