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Saturday, November 10, 2007: Returning to McMurdo

I really had to earn this view but the six hour trip was well worth it. Even the rock formations up here are something to see.

Today we were suppose to make our way back to McMurdo Station and we were a little unsure if the heilo flights were going to come to New Harbor because of the bad weather we had the past couple of days. The team was to fly back in two different loads with each load taking our gear with us. The first flight was going to pick up three people and about 1,000 pounds of gear at 9:55 while the second flight was supposed to pick up the remaining gear and people around 2 in the afternoon.

So after a lazy start to the morning we started to breakdown the rest of our gear when we heard a call over the radio. The helio that was suppose to pick up the first group of people was an hour early and it was coming with the second helio flight. Bryan, Mindy and myself were part of the first group and we were pretty much ready except for helping out with a few camp chores. We really didn’t expect the helios so early and even though we were ready, we were still scrambling around to collect missing pieces of gear. The helio pilots were nice enough to wait around for us while we finished cleaning and loading up the helicopters. Both teams were off the ground by 10:30 and we got one last view of our camp from high above in the helio.

These two were ready for take off!

This is a view of Mt. Hjorth, now that would be a hike. I wonder how many people have hiked up to the top?

We landed back in good old Mactown around noonish and we immediately started to unpack and rebuild the lab…, but not before we all went to take a shower first! After a shower and some lunch we took back all of the equipment we barrowed from the BFC and devised a schedule for the next couple of days. The day we pretty relaxing as most of us caught up with email and late updates (oops!).

It’s nice to be back in McMurdo but there is something about being in the field. It was nice to wake up each morning and be able to make our own meals and know that a day of working in the field lies ahead of you. We are well taken care of here in McMurdo but it’s nice to take care of yourself and each other from time to time.

This is a view of our camp from the helio. You can barely make out the greenish building where we stayed for the past 11 days and the red Polar Heavan on the sea ice.

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This material is based on work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. ANT-0619622 ( Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.