Sad day for Antarcticans

neurontin online no script We are saddened to learn of the discovery of the wreckage of a Twin Otter that crashed en-route from the South Pole to Terra Nova station. It appears none of the crew survived the impact. When we first learned of the missing plane we hoped and prayed that all would end well, unfortunately it was not to be.

accédez à ce site We send our sincere condolences to the family and friends of the crew, and all those involved in the rescue attempt. We are especially thinking of all our friends at McMurdo, on the Joint American and  New Zealand Search and Rescue (SAR) team and the pilots and crew of ‘our’ Twin Otter who all played a key role in the search. We can only imagine how tough this is.

photo femme mur We’ve spent many hours flying with the incredibly skilled and dedicated pilots and crew from Kenn Borek, and it’s easy to forget that they operate in the most extreme and unforgiving conditions on earth. These guys and girls are just some of the many, many people who work ‘behind-the-scenes’ and endure all manner of discomfort to make science happen in Antarctica. These people aren’t in it for fame and fortune, they are genuinely dedicated to making a difference. Without these dedicated individuals, what we do would simply not be possible. For their efforts, and this case their ultimate sacrifice, we as Antarctic scientists, are truly grateful.

 John and the G-064 team 

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Farewell to the field…

 Tonight is a special night– our last in the field. We are to return to McMurdo tomorrow via Twin Otter. The occasion is joyous, but the mood is sombre– not out of sadness, but with deep reflection of last seven weeks. It is easy to overlook the specialness of an experience when you are living it, and the realization of the wonder often lags. We now look back at all of the wonderful events of the last seven weeks– the majesty of the landscape, the extreme weather, the physical challenges, and the serenity of a small camp in Antarctica, hundreds of miles from another human. We flew over the TransAntarctics in small aircraft, climbed mountains, ran on glaciers, and came back to our cosy camp to have meals of salmon alfredo, Thai curry, and roast cornish hens. We have seen and done amazing things during this field season, and we have much to be thankful for and much to rejoice. We all feel a sense of success, and we owe much appreciation to all of the support from the contractors in McMurdo, the National Science Foundations for funding, and of course, to John, who made all of this possible. We hope that this will not be our last trip to this beautiful continent.
I know that all sounds very sentimental, but I assure you, we are all anxiously anticipating our extraction! Perhaps I should save the sappy blog updates until we have actually departed. The weather is unpredictable, and we may be spending the weekend in our tents eating the dehydrated meals that are left over. By the time you read this we will hopefully be in MacTown, groomed and warm. Wish us luck!
-Sophie, Forrest, Graham

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Darwin Glacier flight

Next season we will be working in the Darwin Glacier region, so to try and locate good camping spots and places that planes and/or helicopters can drop us off to do research, we took a reconnaissance Twin Otter ski plane flight today. We took off from the sea ice runway – the sea freezes solid during winter here and makes a great place to land planes (until it gets too thin – at the moment it is about 2m thick). We flew about an hour south then up the Darwin and Byrd Glaciers. We took a lot of photos and video – here is a sample from our adventure. There are a few more videos on our pictures/videos page, or you can find them directly on our youtube channel.

Twin Otter takeoff

Inside the Twin Otter

Flyover on the Darwin Neve
Twin Otter Landing at McMurdo sea-ice runway

A few photos:

Our Twin Otter for the day. Sitting on the sea ice runway

Twin Otter parking, sea ice runway

Ski-equipped twin otter

the boys, ready to go in the backseat


the business end…

view out the front window on the runway to two Hercules aircraft

Your safety is our first priority

In the air over the Darwin Glacier

Brown Hills area

The Darwin Glacier

South side of the Darwin Glacier

Landing on the Darwin Neve. The glacier here is hard blue ice and we needed crampons to walk around without slipping.

John taking photos

Mt Discovery (an old volcano)

Boys watching the scenery

Mulock Glacier

Roadend Nunatak

Melt pools in the Brown Hills

Side glacier on the north side of the Byrd Glacier

Texture on the surface of the Byrd Glacier

Mt Discovery and McMurdo on our landing approach

Mt Discovery again

Boys enjoying doing some science!

North side of the Byrd Glacier

Head of the Darwin Glacier

Bryan taking care of business

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