Finally the weather has cleared here in McMurdo. From the time I arrived until 3 days ago we had hardly seen the sun and had lots of ground fog so the planes were having a lot of trouble getting here and the ones that needed to leave were having trouble getting out. We are way behind getting people to the South Pole, the remote field camps and all the science equipment needed has been stacking up in Christchurch, New Zealand along with all our mail. I sent myself 3 boxes before I left home and they still have not arrived. Hopefully the weather will hold and they can get more flights in to us.
I had a really awesome experience last week, since I'm a driver here I am going to have the opportunity in taking people from McMurdo out on the sea ice to Cape Evans. The trip out is on sea ice and we usually have a Challenger making a road for us as we go they are also there to pull us out if we get stuck. Cape Evans is where Robert Falcon Scott built his Cape Evans hut for his expedition to the South Pole in 1910-1912. The hut is just as his crew left it after he died on his return trip from the pole.
The picture above shows our Deltas on the path to Cape Evans over the frozen sea ice of McMurdo Sound. What a cold and isolated place!!!
On Scott's last attempt to be the first to reach the South Pole it was from this point at Cape Evans that he and 4 other men headed out. On January 17, 1912 the 5 men arrived at the South Pole only to find that the Norweigian explorer Roald Amundsen had beaten them there by 33 days. Sadden and beaten by their disappointment they tried to return to the hut at Cape Evans but sadly they never made it and died on the trip back.
I hope you can see from the pictures below what a cold and empty place they had to survive in. The hut was built right by the water and by the end of this season (summer) that will be open water. That makes the trips to the hut on the ice road short lived as the depth of the ice is measured regularly and the trips end when the ice becomes too thin for the weight of our vehicles.