We began last week shovelling snow from our first winter storm and today it looks like we might just get a chance to shovel out after our second before a third storm arrives. At the end of this week, we reach another milestone in our winter season, when we will say goodbye to the sun until August. Officially, the sun will rise completely above the horizon for the last time on April 23 and then make a partial appearance the following day before hiding below the northern horizon for the next three months. Of course it won’t suddenly get a lot darker the next day, but all we’ll have is twilight until the sun comes up again. Being on the south side of the Hut Point Peninsula, Scott Base saw its last direct sunshine a few weeks ago, but Brian and I got to bask in the sun during a quick mission to change the battery on our camera at Ford Rock (see our map). The photo shows what may well turn out to be the last natural shadow I’ll cast for a while, if the current weather persists all week.
Our continuing ice and ocean observations show that McMurdo Sound has cooled significantly since we arrived, but the multiyear sea ice still thinning. We do not expect much more melt this year though and soon we hope to establish our first camp on the ice so that we can conduct more experiments and stay overnight. We are ever at the mercy of the weather down here though and so we’re hoping for a long enough break in the wind to drag our science hut into position (after we’ve dug it and the bulldozer to tow it out of the snow).
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Tuesday, 21 April 2009 02:55
Last shadowsWritten by McMurdo Sound Winter Sea Ice
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