1 November, 1996
Journal - November 1, 1996
A new month. We were scheduled for a 9:30 pickup. We got a call from McMurdo saying weather was not good enough for them to fly but they would reevaluate at 11:00. This is the start of another hurry up and wait day. Two small helo's are scheduled to come in. One will land at camp and the other at the dive hut. That's great because we won't have to carry the dive gear back to camp.
Whenever we travel we have to be prepared for an emergency. If the helicopter had to make an unexpected landing and we were stranded on the ice, we would have tents, sleeping bags, food, and a small stove. Although it's comforting to know we always have survival gear with us, it makes packing and traveling a lot of work.
The weather cleared and we got a radio message saying helo's would arrive in ten minutes. That's more warning than we get for most pick-ups. The pilot signaled us on a VHF radio, which is line of sight communication. That means that we were notified at about the same time we could see the helicopter. We ran to the landing site to signal the wind conditions to the pilot, and proceeded to get pelted by debris as he set down in front of us. The engine was left running while we loaded and unload equipment keeping at least one eye out for the rotor. When we went to helo school we were told of the guy who walked into the tail rotor. It was a messy story. I don't know if it was true but it made an impression on me and made me very cautious.
The flight back wasn't very spectacular because of poor visibility. That isn't obvious from the picture, however, the conditions on opposite sides of McMurdo Sound are often drastically different.
I'll miss the camp and the dry valley. The outhouse, I won't miss.
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