Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Surveying the sea ice

We need to find a place to site our camp on the sea ice. It's not an easy thing to do because we need to have relatively thin ice (ideally about 6 ft thick) with no significant cracks within a 1 km radius of the camp. The penguins can escape if they find another exit hole!

This year the sea ice in the McMurdo Sound did not clear out completely and the part that did still has chunks of old ice. This is complicating things a lot.

Paul, Matt, and Cory did an aerial survey of the ice to find a suitable spot in one of the helicopters. Below is Matt ready for take off.

This is the ice edge, which is near Cape Royds, location of Shakleton's historic hut. Cape Royds is also the location of a large Adelie penguin colony, although it is a little early to see any Adelies. Unlike the emperors, the Adelie penguin heads north for the winter.

Here's an aerial view of the ice runway. This is where the C-17s land. The runway is on the sea ice just outside of McMurdo.

An here's an aerial view of McMurdo with Observation Hill on the right.