Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Not close enough

At bag drag last night they told us to report back there at 8:45 the next morning, but to be sure to "check the scroll". Outside the galley there's a video monitor which cycles through a few pages of general interest like the current weather conditions and forecast, activities going on this evening, etc. For me, the most interesting of those pages is the Outgoing Flights page. When I checked this morning at 7AM, my flight was listed as "indefinite delay due to weather". At around 10AM they changed it to CANCELLED. So I'm stuck in McMurdo again.
Fortunately, no expense is spared in making sure we're as comfortable as possible. (Note the missing or stained ceiling tiles.) This room is more comfortable than the room I shared when I came through in November because now I'm in a six person room which only 3 people are sharing. All the beds are single-level -- in November I was in a top bunk.

We're in a dorm which is being remodeled. Our room is the last door on the right, just before the plastic divider with the sign saying "Do not enter". I was awake for a few hours last night with a tickle in the back of my throat, convinced I was coming down with "the crud", a general flu-like sickness that seems to float around Antarctica. I mentioned this to one of my roommates at breakfast and he said the same thing happened to him. We decided that instead of an infection it was probably just asbestos fibers from the remodel.
It's kind of windy and snowy today which is why we're not flying to Christchurch. There's not much to do except sit inside and enjoy the 24 hour Internet connection. That connection is probably the same bandwidth as a coffee shop's connection in the States, but here it's shared by several hundred people, so catching up on NetFlix videos is frown on :-)

I generally camp out in the library in Crary Labs. Crary is the main building for all science projects here. There are chemistry and biology labs, office space, and even a marine touch tank on the lower level. The library has WiFi along with relative quiet, a combination that's almost impossible to find anywhere else on the continent.
Here's the view from the Crary library window. This picture's a little murky due to the combination of dirty windows and a light snowfall, but if you squint you might be able to make out the helicopters between the Chalet deck and the base of Ob Hill. Further to the right there is normally a view of Mt. Erebus, the most southerly volcano on the planet.

I was surprised to discover this while poking around: a live webcam! Experience the gritty scenery of McMurdo from the comfort of your own home.

1 comment:

Elaine Glowacki said...

thanks for the webcam link. I waited through the countdown for the pic to change and I didn't see anything happen. Maybe you could run outside for me?