From the moment we arrived here we started working and we worked the next 14 days straight. There were two more night vision goggle flights scheduled, which were the next days after we arrived. The weather was nice both of those days with temperatures somewhere around -20 and no wind.
The first five flights of Winfly (Winter Flights) got in without any problems, but the sixth flight was delayed for three days due to bad weather here. When the weather cleared they finally launched on Friday August 27th and got to within 15 minutes from McMurdo when they turned around due to bad weather here. The weather was actually fine at the time. There had been some ground fog earlier that day, but it had cleared by the time they turned around. They decided to head back to Christchurch, refuel and come back for another try. That meant the poor passengers on board would have to endure another 10 hours on the plane and that we would have to come back to work that night. They landed that evening shortly after midnight and it was 3 am by the time we got off work. We then had to be back to work the next morning at 8:30 for the flight that day. Needless to say we were both extremely exhausted and ready for our first day off on Sunday.
The first sunrise since last April was on August 19 and with the sun so low on the horizon since then we've had some really great colors in the sky. Here are some shots we took while working the past few weeks.
Here's a shot from the truck as we were driving out to the runway to work an incoming flight.
Watching as the plane comes in
You can barely see the lights of the plane coming in over the snow piles
We had a few nacreous clouds this day as well as some ground fog.
The fog was so bad when the plane was leaving that all we could see of it was the tail above the fog.
Here's Kelly trying to warm his toes on the ride back to town
This photo was taken two days after the first sunrise.
Mt. Erebus with some nacreous clouds around it.
Here Kelly is standing on the side of his loader, which is attached to the sled. This day was really cold, somewhere around -56.
The sun setting over our cargo sleds
Here we are getting ready to head home after a long day.