April 24th, 2012 marked the last sunset of the season. I was worried that the weather that day was going to mimic the weather from the day before, when we were borderline condition 1 weather. Condition 1 weather is classified as “Windspeed over 100 knots (60 miles per hour)Visibility less than 100 feet (30 meters)Wind chill below −100 °F (−73 °C)Description: Dangerous conditions; outside travel is not permitted.” Fortunately the day was gorgeous. Sunrise time on April 24th, 2012 was 12:31 and sunset was 13:10. Rick and I walked down to Hut Point to watch the sun set one last time for the winter.
From our vantage point, we didn’t actually see the sun. What we did see, however, was a brilliant orange glow across the horizon, the Royal Society Mountain Range was softly highlighted in pink, and the colors all reflected off of the ice and patches of open water out across the bay area.
We sat on the ledge and talked about how lucky we were to be here. We talked about our favorite points of the summer season and things we were looking forward to during the winter. We took the time to enjoy the moment, ask God for a blessed and safe winter, and after about 30 minutes, wandered back to the metropolis of McMurdo.