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February 20, 2013

Goodye McMurdo!

Today is my last day in Antarctica.  I took a short hike up Observation Hill to say goodbye.  Notice the cargo vessel at the ice pier and the open water all around.  It is time to go!

February 14, 2013

Last fly day of the season!

That's it!  Today we're finished flying.  Time to clean up, pack up, and go home.

Here's the crew (minus the mechanics)

February 13, 2013

One last flight with Jack

Today likely marks the last flight of Jack Hawkins' long helicopter career.  Jack began flying with the military in Vietnam.  For the past 16 years, he has headed up the helicopter support effort in McMurdo.  Today, we're flying a group of distinguished military visitors on a flightseeing tour.  They're getting to see the sights and Jack is saying goodbye to his backyard.  Here are some highlights:

Beacon Valley

VXE-6 Icefalls

Lake Vanda, look closely for the hut.

The Labyrinth

Jack and Nick at Cape Evans

February 11, 2013

Just a few scenics

Victoria Valley Dunes 
Koetlitz Glacier

Sea Ice near Marble Point

A sling load arrives at MacTown

February 9, 2013

McMurdo Sound Ice Breakout

Russian icebreaker at the pier  
Tourist shuttle
This is the time of the year that vessels begin arriving in McMurdo Sound.  Our sea ice has thinned and the ice edge has moved close enough the the station to make it easy for a contract icebreaker to open the shipping channel.  Soon our fuel tanker will arrive along with a research ship, followed by our cargo vessel.  Cruise ships occasionally visit McMurdo as well and use helicopters to shuttle their guests ashore.  

February 4, 2013

TED Talk about the xAlps Paragliding Race

This talk is a great overview of the Red Bull X-Alps paragliding race.  Salzburg to Monaco with one main rule:  the athletes must carry their paraglider or the paraglider must carry them.