Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Our Last Few Weeks at McMurdo and One Day in Christchurch

The day after we posted our last entry we went for a walk down to Hut Point.  It was a beautiful night for watching icebergs float by.

Dave standing on Hut Point.

The side of Hut Point was covered in salty ice that had blown up during the storm.

Scott's Hut from Hut Point.

Kelly walked down below the point and found a couple of Adele Penguins.

They were both taking a nap.

There were a lot of tiny star fish that had washed up on shore.

Our friend Dacre took this photo of one of the penguins.

Kelly took this photo of a seal moving past an LC-130 at the airfield.

Dacre's getting ready to drive this full load on the Kress back to town.

One of our favorite things about staying later in the season, is the awesome colors we see in the sky as the sun gets lower on the horizon.  Kelly took this from the Scott Base transition.

An eight bladed LC-130 in the early morning light.

A sundog above Ob Hill.

We took these next three photos of Mt. Discovery out our dorm room window.

The runway was finally certified again for wheeled aircraft February 26th, which was the day before we were scheduled to leave.  Instead of having to leave on an LC-130, we got to fly out on a New Zealand Air Force B-757.  Here's co-workers Tim, John, Troy and Dylan with our baggage on the sled in back.

The B-757 came to take us back to Christchurch.  This flight was only 4 hours and 45 minutes rather than an 8 hour flight, which we would have had on the LC-130.

Tim & Dave loaded the bags in the belly of the plane.  Here's Tim waiting for more bags.

John, Jimsky, Kelly & Troy getting the bags.

Waiting for large carry on bags to be stored in the belly.  Here's Kelly on the right.  

One of the benefits of flying on the 757, is that Dave had a window seat.  Here you can see the glacial ice that the plane took off from and the open water out near the continent.

Looking back down at Pegasus Airfield.  The dark specs that are below and to the right of the town site is where our plane parked when we boarded.

Here you can see where the edge of the Ross Ice Shelf meets the open water of the Ross Sea. 

As we flew out of the clouds, we got a great view of the top of Mt. Erebus.

As we flew to Christchurch, we flew over the continent and took a few photos of the mountains and glaciers.

This year we only had one day in Christchurch before we flew back to the states.  Fortunately we had a beautiful day to enjoy the botanical gardens.

Here's Dave smelling the roses.

We spent some time just sitting on a bench in the sun and enjoying the view of this rock garden.

Kelly took a selfie of us on the bench.

The bark of this cluster pine caught Dave's eye.

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