Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Rush hour commute in Antarctica!

This is what Kelly sees on his daily commute to and from work.

Emperor Penguins.

Friday, January 21, 2011

From the beginning to end of the season.

I found this photo on a shared drive here.  Look what happens in just a few months.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Tour of the Nathaniel B. Palmer Research Vessel

This afternoon we had a tour of the 310' NBP research vessel.  It was interesting to see some of the research labs, bridge, lounge and galley.

Our friend Drew working on the Ice Pier.

Pictures of the ship.

The stairs leading to the helo pad.


Up top at command central.

Containment berms.

This is science equipment used to collect ocean water samples at many different depths.

Kelly visiting with Drew after the tour.

Nice Day for a Walk

On a day off last week we walked down to Hut Point.  Here are some random shots.

Helo coming in to land.

The Ice breaker Oden cutting a channel into the ice on it's way to the pier.

One little Adelie Penguin.

Sunbathing Seals.

The Oden on the left. The speck in the distance on the right side is the Nathaniel B. Palmer.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Working Trip to Central Trans-Antarctic Mountains

We had a working trip out to a field camp called CTAM (Central Trans-Antarctic Mountains) on Saturday.  It's located just across the Queen Alexandra Range from the Beardmore Glacier.  CTAM is 361 nautical miles away from South Pole Station and 371 nautical miles from McMurdo. The flight out to CTAM takes about 1.5 hours one way and lies at an elevation of 5980 feet.  The purpose of the trip was to see how the field camp handles the download and upload of the cargo we send out to them.
This is the plane Kelly was loading for the flight out.

Dave having a look outside during the flight.

The insides of these cargo planes are all about function...not comfort.

Kelly with some of the New Zealanders flying out to camp. 

Here's a look out the window.

A full LC130 holds 6 pallets, we had 2 pallets plus some small items.  We would normally use a loader to pick the pallets up and off the plane at McMurdo.  But at this camp they do what's called a "combat offload".  This is when the Loadmaster lowers the ramp of the plane once we're on the ground, releases the cargo pallets and they slide right out the back of the plane while we're moving down the skiway.

The ramp is open and getting ready to release the cargo.

This clip is of the "combat offload".

The beautiful mountains around camp.

The tucker is dragging a pallet behind the plane to upload.

Dave with Andrew, the Cargo Handler at CTAM.

The Loadmaster is hooking a chain to the pallet and then to the winch, which he will then use to pull the pallet up the ramp and on to the plane.
The missions to field camps are "engine running offload" meaning it's very loud with lot's of exhaust from the engines.

Winching the pallet inside the plane.

This clip is the cargo being pulled in.

The second pallet pulled into position.

Kelly assisting the Loadmaster.

Here's the forth pallet on the ramp and locking in to position.

Dave on the flight deck.  We both got to sit on the flight deck with the Pilots, the Engineer and Navigator the whole way back, so we were able to get a lot of photos.

Both of us up top.

Here's a shot out the Pilot's window while taxiing down the skiway

This video is at the end of the skiway making a 360 degree turn in preparation for takeoff.  We had so much weight onboard between cargo and fuel, that it took three attempts before we got airborne.

Once up in the air, the trip back was beautiful!

Lot's of gauges.

View from inside the flight deck.

More scenic pictures.

Nearing Pegasus Airfield at McMurdo for our landing.

Inside Kelly's office at the airfield.