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1 December, 2002

Thanksgiving at McMurdo

It's strange to see this bustling community stop, but that's exactly what happened this weekend as McMurdo station observed Thanksgiving. It wasn't observed on Thursday or even Friday here, when it was Thursday in the United States. But rather was observed on Saturday.

Everyone was given the day off and most saw it as an occasion to dress up for the dinner. We had to sign up for a time to eat, and the ANSMET team ate early, 3:00PM. I cannot say enough about the kitchen staff here. It really felt like home.

Having a little time has given us the opportunity to see some of the sights. On Friday afternoon, Jamie, Scott, Carlton, Nancy, Linda, Danny,and I went to Scott Base, the New Zealand base here on Ross Island. Scott Base is much smaller than McMurdo, but serves the same basic purpose. It's composed of interconnected modular buildings, so it's possible to travel between buildings without going outside. It's also built up on risers to keep the snow from accumulating around it.

We mostly used our time to visit the gift shop and then we were back in McMurdo a few minutes later.

That night, Dean and Cady presented an excellent talk about NASA, parcticularly Dean's work as a space suit tester, and Cady's experiences aboard the Shuttle. A large audience packed the galley and several stayed for hours afterward just for the opportunity to talk to Dean and Cady.

At this time, Eric Muhs, at TEA from Seattle surprised me. He had just flown in and is heading out Monday for the Pole with the AMANDA project (see ../tea_muhsfrontpage.html) Eric has developed a passion for kite aerial photography and invited me to join him in flying a kite over Scott's original hut here at McMurdo.

The flight drew lots of spectators and I'm excited to see his digital images as soon as he posts them on the web. It was a real treat for me to get to see another TEA and to trade stories of our adventures, so far.

Today, Scott Messenger used his free time to run in the McMurdo Turkey Trot, a 5K race from the chapel to the ice runway and back. Dante, Danny, and I used the time to climb Ob Hill for an unbelievable view of Ross Island.

Tonight is our last dinner together as a team, then the Beardmore group will need to take their bags to be weighed at "Bag Drag," for tomorrow morning's flight to Beardmore South Camp. We're taking two flights to get there where we'll unload the palettes of gear and food and camp for the night. Then, on Tuesday, we'll start our 100km traverse to Goodwin Nunweb siteThis should be my next opportunity to update the website. It's been good having a little time to rest here at McMurdo, but I think all of us are ready to get started in the field.

Scott Base, the New Zealand (Kiwi) base near McMurdo.

Visitor parking at Scott Base. The Kiwis have a unique sense of humor.

Eric Muhs (another TEA) preparing to fly his kite and take aerial photos of McMurdo.

Eric flying his kite over Hut Point.

ANSMET Team photo Back Row: Jamie Pierce, John Schutt, Cady Coleman, Scott Messenger, Andy Caldwell, Dante Lauretta, Daniel Glavin. Front Row: Diane DiMassa, Nancy Chabot, Carlton Allen, Linda Welzenbach, Dean Eppler (photo by Elizabeth Morton and Daniel Glavin)

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