Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Because the Dry Valleys are so remote, we fly on helicopters to get there. Today we were supposed to fly to Lake Fryxell and Lake Bonney. But the weather is very bad for flying right now so we can't go anywhere. Helicopters only fly when the sky is clear and the wind is not blowing too hard. The helicopters here at McMurdo have lots of jobs to do, such as taking people to different places, delivering packages to field camps, and moving large pieces of equipment. Even though the helicopters have many jobs to do, safety is more important than everything else. So if the weather is bad enough, they all stay on the ground. Usually from the helicopter pad you can look out at the Ross Sea and also see the mainland on the other side. As this picture shows, you can't see much of anything this morning.
Last night we got a few inches of snow in McMurdo, even though it's the middle of summer!
We come down to Antarctic with plans to do lots and lots of scientific research, the weather is unpredictable. Sometimes we simply can't get out to our field locations and must wait for the weather to clear. So that's what we're doing today... waiting for better weather!