4 December, 2002
4 December, 2002
Snowing again. Flight postponed 2 hours. Rats. After breakfast, I walked down to the generator, the holy church of 24 hour noise at McMurdo, and recorded some sounds. Back to the room in time to take a shower, and the flight is moved up! Leaving now!
Same ride in same Delta monster truck (where was a DELTA when I got the van stuck on the beach last summer??). Skeptical when we got on the plane, I started believing when the first motor started. A long long long taxi, then up! To the Pole! Every young boy's dream !
Another long flight, but much less crowded. I was able to go up in the cockpit and check things out. It was a lot like the Cessnas I used to fly, except just a little more complicated, and a flight deck crew of 5. I also got out the contact mikes and recorded the plane itself, and made a nice movie of the Transantarctic Mountains I saw from the window.
Then the pole, and we were out. First smell: diesel exhaust from the fork lift unloading the cargo. The plane was back in the air by the time we walked inside the dome. We had a great lunch in the galley, which was certainly more intimate than the immense one at McMurdo. Orientation video: drink lots of water, do little the first 2 days, be nice, drink lots of water. And the water part is true. This is the driest place I've ever been. I feel it in the nose & skin & eyes. And the altitude is up above 10,000 feet, and I felt crappy, so I found Bai, from the Bartol Research at the University of Delaware, and he helped me find my way to my accommodation in a "Jamesway": a temporary housing structure about a quarter mile away from the dome, partly through a maze of under snow catwalks following pipes and cables, then out into the bright bright bright sunlight, and find the luggage, and collapse for a while.
Took a nap, and did computer chores, and read, and went for dinner. Oh. It's 8:30. Dinner's over. But there were some treats out, and I ate a few of them, and back to the Jamesway, with a free official Pee Can in hand, because the bathrooms are 50 feet away over snow.
Pole. Altitude. Ouch. Like getting over the flu. It will be better tomorrow.
-- Eric Muhs
From somewhere near the South Pole
To see movies, quicktime vrs, sound files, panoramic pix : http://www.drachen.org/default.html
To read journals and see pix: ../tea_muhsfrontpage.html
Contact the TEA in the field at .
If you cannot connect through your browser, copy the TEA's e-mail address in the "To:" line of your favorite e-mail package.