Well friends! I have arrived safe and sound in beautiful Antarctica, and it's good to be back, although it's different this year.
Last year I was a wide-eyed puppy dog-esque freshman, and I'll admit, I'm a little older and wiser (hopefully!) this time around. But I am here, and one step outside to take a look at those beautiful white mountains makes me feel peace in my soul, and so I am very very glad to be here.
For those of you who are curious, a few photos to share. We do take a C-17 down to the ice, flown in by a New York wing of the Air National Guard. Here's a photo of the plane from the inside, and the outside, after we landed, in -30 F temperatures this time, but the light was so pretty! It's amazing how cold that actually doesn't feel when there's little wind. Or maybe I was just excited.
The view from the air on the 5-hour trip down is amazing. There are only a few little windows we can look peep through, but if you take the opportunity, it has excellent rewards.
The weather here the last couple of days has been beautiful and sunny. Yesterday, the sun hit town for the first time this season, and all of my winter friends were so euphoric! I can't imagine going six months without sun. I have it in my mind that I'm going to try, though. Maybe soon.
In any case, we did have some Antarctica-esque weather a few days ago. The weather here is rated Condition Three (normal Antarctica), Condition Two (sorta bad) and Condition One (really really bad. Hurricane force winds. Potentially trucks are flying around. Etc.)
So.... it went Condition Two in town, and of course, if you were caught out in it, you had to snap a picture, right?
And then, it got very exciting. The season's first Condition One! I have never had a Condition One happen in Antarctica before. It doesn't happen very much in town, as McMurdo is protected by hills. So it was a lot of fun to watch the notification board inside! (No going outside in Condition One!)
Otherwise, the early season flights are rolling in. One more, and then we are cut off from the world for a few weeks. There will be about three hundred of us here until October, and then it will get crazy busy in a hurry.
So what do we do in the meantime? That right. We rock out.
Antarctica friends lurking on this blog will recognize some of these faces, at a live music show at the Carp shop this weekend. All of the people in these pictures except me were in Antarctica all winter long (that's all summer for us North Americans) and many have been here since I arrived last year -- more than a year. Now some of them have left back to the real world. Will miss you a lot, friends! But that's the way it rolls in Antarctica...she gives and takes away.