Saturday, November 3, 2007


Our Halloween party was on Saturday 27th, it was a great time, there were prizes given away for many outfits. Melissa dressed as Wilma and I dressed as a cave man. There was music, food, and dancing through out the night.

On Sunday the 21st we had the opportunity to take a recreation trip to Scott and Shackelton’s 1911 hut at Cape Evans about 15 miles away. On the way to we encountered EMPORER PENQUINS! We watched these curious guys waddle almost a mile to check us out. They walked about 30ft away! It was a really nice first encounter. I’m really excited to see them so early in the season.

The "Delta" we took out to Cape Evans

Cape Evans Hut, Barnes Glacier in the background

Last Thursday I (Josh) got the ride of a lifetime. I was sent out to repair a broken Pisten Bully that was enroute to a remote field camp. Because it was over 50 miles away we took a helicopter out to repair the machine in the field. It was an awesome service call. I had to put together a tool kit with everything I needed, as well as try to plan for what parts I needed. The helicopter pilot was totally cool, we flew really close (and along side) huge icebergs, glaciers, and the dry valleys.

The disabled traverse equipment

My Ride

The View! Ice berg is almost 200ft high

Friday morning I received the call that the Pisten Bully I repaired yesterday was having more problems. The good news is they made it to their remote field camp, but unfortunately it was broke down again. The cool part is that Branden and I had less then an hour to talk to the people on satellite phone to diagnose the new set of problems, get tools, parts, lunch and get to the helo-hanger for a second helicopter flight, this time to Granite Harbor field camp, (80 miles away). It was really nice out there. After fixing the Pisten Bully, I also repaired there broken snowmobile.

Granite Harbor Field Camp

I had the fortunate pleasure of getting selected as the mechanic to support a traverse to Black Island. Black Island is about 35 miles away, and located there is the Telecommunication relay station, essentially a double-wide trailer house with two really big NASA satellite dishes. The entire phone, internet, and other radio communication to the outside world go through this relay station. I accompanied three vehicles as we drove to this field station to deliver supplies, return old equipment. I was only there about 2.5 hours, but I managed to replace the rear window of a D6 dozer too.

A Sea-ice pressure dome on the way to black Island

The trail to black Isalnd through rough ice

Black Island Telecommunication facility

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Congatulations Ruth and Clive!

It's been a busy week. By Saturday afternoon the population of town was just over 650, with about 400 more to come over the next week. It's been a little overwhelming at times, but fun at others. It's been nice to see friends I've made from last year, but I had to say good bye again to some other friends from last year who wintered over and are now finally leaving after thier 14 month stays. Thursday and Friday evenings had some nice Nacreous clouds. I was very happy to see them. (see for more info on these unique clouds.)
There was Live music Saturday night at the coffee/wine bar. It was fun as the band had many songs they wrote about live here in McMurdo.

Click to enlarge

Two good New Zealand friends I made last year (Ruth and Clive) both wintered over. Ruth wintered here at McMurdo, and Clive at Scott Base (NZ Station) 2 miles away. I was exited to hear they got engaged down here over the winter. Last Sunday the good folks at the Scott Base held an "Ice Wedding" for them. The wedding was complete with a real snow chapel, dresses, tuxes, reception, dinner, dance, cake, music, and fun.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

The Invasion Begins

Tuesday 2:04pm the First flight of Mainbody landed on the Sea Ice Runway delivering almost 100 new people to our small village of 350. Wednesday 125 more will follow. This will continue untill the population of town booms to about 1000. The good news is that Dad is on this first flight, making it a little more symbolic.

Last Quiet Week of Winfly

The last week of Winfly was quiet. I (josh) have been sick most of the week, bad enough to call in sick two days. Satuday night the carpentry shop helt the annual end of winfly party. It featured "games of skill" live bands, dancing, and just plain good fun. (too bad I was still sick). The mood of station is a little anxious, as we know the small cozy village will soon turn into a bustling city next week.

Wednesday a small Nacreous Cloud showed up over the Royal Society Mt. Range. Nacreous Clouds are a rare cloud type that are only found at the poles during the end of winter. We haven't seen many this year. But it is still cool to see one.

to see Photos of how nacreous clouds normally look visit

Sunday, September 23, 2007

10 Days Before The Invasion

So another week has gone and we are beging a new one. In 10 short days we will now feel as the winterover people did. We are being invaded by mainbody when the population here swells from 350 to 1000, within two weeks. Talk about mind numbing. Our life as peacful and quiet will no longer be. That's ok though, with mainbody good things come. We will be getting mail and can send mail again, yay, not to mention more freshies (fruit and vegies). The other day we had salad straight from the greenhouse down here, and it was delicious. It is amazing what some food will make a person do when they know it's going to be for dinner. We also had pizza night. It was a frenzy.

We have been having sunsets that last 6 hours at a time. The sunlight has been gradually increasing for 15 minutes at a time each day. It is very beautiful. There is a new sunset each time you walk out of the building. One of the perks to being down here so early.

This was taken just after we climbed observation hill. A hill that is right next to town and is often a reference point. The sun is still setting in the background and I'm taking a short rest. This was at about 7:30pm. I'm sure there will be more of these kinds of pictures to come.

Click to Enlarge (nice photo of McMurdo and surroundings.)

This week we also moved to our new dorm. Now we no longer live across the tracks, as everyone refers to it here. We are in building 155, this building houses numerous people, the galley, and a few offices. It is centrally located in the town so not much is more that a couple minute walk. We will soon be placing some photos of the town and our building. Most of the dorms int this building are 4-6 person rooms. Josh and I were very fortunate to recieve one of the 2 person dorms. There are only about three of them.

Rock Band "Level 5"
On Saturday we had "Winstock" a smaller version of "Icestock". This was the event of the season. It is amazing how many people down here are musicians. There were 7 small bands that played a variety of music from acustic to oldies, and alternative rock to modern rock. Many of them were original songs and a few described life in Mactown.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Links and other stuff

Click on images to enlarge them.

Here are a few links to other websites and blogs

My weblog last year:

Sunday, September 16, 2007

It's been a Quiet Week in Mac town

It's been a fairly quiet week in McMurdo. Melissa is doing well with her job, she enjoys working with her co workers, and I too have the pleasure of working with a fun group of guys. The weather has been fairly good most of the week, with Sunday being the exception, were we had a "Herbie" come through town. A "Herbie" is a storm that usually comes from the south and brings "huricane" force winds. (technically supposed to sustain winds of 75 MPH).

The weather on saturday was really nice. Melissa and I both had the day off so we hiked to Castle Rock, a large rock outcrop about 3.5 mile away from town. There are ropes set up to assist the climbing of the summit.

Here is Melissa climbing her way to the top of Castle Rock

Here is a Photo Eric Kawasaki took the other week while we were watching the lunar eclipes and arouras. We could be the people in the photo (but it's hard to tell).