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Sunday, October 31, 2010


We got up at 5 AM this morning to try and make it to the Pole, but at 3 PM we are still in McMurdo.  Of the four flights scheduled today to Pole, three have been cancelled.  The one I am on has been delayed all day long, and is currently scheduled to try at 5 PM.  The reason for the delays and cancellations is bad visibility at the Pole.  A wind of 20 knots is blowing snow at Pole and has reduced visibility to a quarter of a mile.  Yet, we are having the nicest day here in McMurdo since we arrived, with temperature of 18 F (-8 C), and no wind.  So I took the opportunity to shoot some photos around town and document some of the impressive, interesting, or unusual transportation equipment that we have here in McMurdo.

The Terra Bus is used to transport people to and from the sea ice runway, located about 1 mile from town.  It can transport 50 people.  We spent more than one hour in it today, on the runway, waiting in vain for our flight.  Each tire is about 3 ft wide and 6 fr tall. 

This monstrous piece of equipment (compare it to the size of the people) is used here as a snow plow.  Its price tag: $140k.

The Pisten Bully can be configured to transport small cargo, or people (up to 6), or, in this case, as a snoplow.

The Delta can also be configured to transport cargo or people (as shown).  Its big fat tires are meant to drive on the sea ice.

And, finally, one of the five National Science Foundation helicopters on station, which transports people and cargo to the nearby camps.

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