Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Penguin has departed

A quick note: oldest son John departed this afternoon for Antarctica, where he'll be working for six months (doing food service for the inhabitants of McMurdo Station).

His first stop is Denver, where he'll do a couple of days of training in Denver. From there, after a brief layover, he'll fly to New Zealand. The final leg of his journey, from Christchurch, NZ, to McMurdo, Antarctica, will be aboard a military transport plane.

McMurdo Station, on Ross Island (on the southwest corner of Ross Sea), is the operational hub and logistics center for the United States Antarctic Program, which in turn is part of the National Science Foundation. McMurdo is the largest installation on the continent and is the gateway to all other US bases.

During the active (summer) season, around 1,200 people are based there. They are just entering the spring season down there; average highs for September are -5 F, and average lows are -20 F. December is the warmest time of the year - average highs are around 30 F, with lows down to 21 F.

Curious about the weather? Check the McMurdo webcam.

He'll be there until March of 2012. It should be a great adventure.


Dan Brekke said...

Very cool! I have a long-term fascination with Antarctica. A couple of recommended reads: "The White Lantern" (which includes a fine essay on Antarctic exploration) by Evan Connell), "The Coldest March" by Susan Solomon, and "The Worst Journey in the World," by Apsley Cherry-Gerrard. Quicker and odder: "Encounters at the End of the World," the Werner Herzog "documentary."

Ron Crouch said...

We watched the Herzog film on Netflix (your quotes were well-placed). I'll pass the reading recommendations on. Did you know our classmate Chris Cahill spent 2 1/2 years in Antarctica while in the Seabees? He had some sage advice which I'll also be passing on!