Sunday, January 7, 2018

McMurdo

After arriving in Antarctica on our "ice flight," my fellow trainees and I got settled in at McMurdo Station. The station is pretty big - actually the size of a small town - and I've been told there are about 700 people here right now. I wasn't quite sure what the station would look like, but in many ways, it reminds me of Longyearbyen and Ny-Ă…lesund, stations I have worked at before in Svalbard. In fact, McMurdo Station is at 77° S, an analagous latitude to Longyearbyen, which is at 78° N. I never thought in my life that I would be able to use the phrase "typical polar research station," but that's exactly what McMurdo looks like. Plain, multi-colored buildings surrounded by unnamed dirt roads, nestled on the side of a mountain surrounded by ice. That's a typical station.

Scientists and staff at McMurdo stay in dormitories, and everyone eats out of the same cafeteria in the middle of town. There's a chapel, two gyms, and three bars. The station sits right on the coast of McMurdo Sound, so you are greeted by breathtaking waterfront and mountain views every time you step outside.

Friends, this place is marvelous. Check out my photos below.

The first view that greeted me when I stepped out of the plane


McMurdo Station, seen from Discovery Point, just a short walk away

Chapel of the Snows, in McMurdo Station

The front door to the main lab belongs on an industrial refrigerator

The skua is an Antarctic scavenging bird

View across McMurdo Sound. The black lumps are seals.

Seals on the ice in McMurdo Sound

Seal on the ice in McMurdo Sound

I took this photo at 10 pm. It's currently summer here, so there is 24-hour daylight

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