Pressure Ridge Tour

A few weeks ago, I signed up to take a pressure ridge tour.

Of course the weather turned crappy that day and I wasn’t able to go.

A few days ago, I signed up for another pressure ridge tour.

The weather decided to cooperate this time.

On Sunday, September 22nd, a few of us loaded up in a van and headed over to Scott Base to tour the pressure ridges. For an explanation on what exactly a pressure ridge is, let’s turn to Wikipedia for a moment –

A pressure ridge develops in an ice cover as a result of a stress regime established within the plane of the ice. Within sea ice expanses, pressure ridges originate from the interaction between floes, as they collide with each other. Currents and winds are the main driving forces, but the latter are particularly effective when they have a predominant direction. Pressure ridges are made up of angular ice blocks of various sizes that pile up on the floes. The part of the ridge that is above the water surface is known as the sail; that below it as the keel. Pressure ridges are the thickest sea ice features and account for about one-half of the total sea ice volume.

Thanks, Wikipedia.

We headed over to Scott Base to drop off the van and start our journey. It was just a small group of us, eight in total. As this was listed as a “photography tour”, we all got our cameras ready and started down towards the ice. The last time I walked down that path was when I did the polar plunge in 2012.

We hadn’t been on the ice that long when, all of a sudden, I’m face to face with the ground. I didn’t remember falling. I had leg on the ice behind me, and realized my right leg was down in the ice. I briefly had an “oh crap” moment. I quickly rolled over onto what I hoped was more stable ice and was helped up by one of the guys on our trip, Greg. Both myself and my camera were okay so we continued on our way.

The sky was a gorgeous blue, the sun was shining, and not a cloud was in the sky, until the end of our tour.

It was the perfect day on the ice.














For she who guilt trips me

My sister directed an interesting questions towards me via Facebook while guilt tripping me about not blogging.

I walk the dog… a lot. It’s gives me thinking time and sometimes the thoughts are truly random. Latest random thought: Do the buildings at McMurdo station, Antarctica have locks on the doors? And if so, who holds the keys?
This should be an interesting topic for Tori Parker’s blog. You know… The blog that she was supposed to update at least once a week…. Guess the weeks are reeeaaaalllly long on the bottom of the world

Those of you who know me know that I am a horrible procrastinator. Or, actually I’m a very good procrastinator. I can procrastinate procrastination. But I’m working on that. I’m staying another six months down here so it gives me opportunity to work on it. Not procrastinating, that is.

So, back to my guilt tripping sister. It’s an interesting question, Beth. One I’m happy to answer to the best of my knowledge.

Most of the exterior doors on buildings around here don’t have locks on them (that I’ve seen). What I figure, this is due to the extreme cold temps we can get. I know the key to the Hut Tub shack would get stuck and we lost two this season when they snapped off in the door knob. With that being said, most buildings also have vestibules and then an interior door that DOES have a lock on it.

Now, when it comes to the people that have keys for the individual buildings… The fire department has keys to MOST buildings. Yep, only most. There are some buildings that we don’t have keys to, like the place where all of the liquor is stored. If there is an alarm there, we get to call someone to meet us there to let us in. With that being said, if we can’t reach anyone, we can get in there. We just don’t want to have to do it that way.

In a nutshell – The people who are responsible for the majority of the stuff in the building generally have a set of keys to the building.

Things I do on Wednesdays!

I’m on a roll now, here comes Wednesday!

Wednesdays are one of the three days that we work 23 hour shifts on. We work them Monday, Wednesday and Friday. If I’m not working a 23 hour shift on a Wednesday, I normally use that day to do laundry and clean my room. If Marsha, one of the other dispatchers and my very good friend, is off with me on Wednesday, we sometimes have Winesday. We unwind in the afternoon/evening with a bottle or two of wine and just chat.

Every other Wednesday night this winter, we’ve had Burger Bar and Trivia at Gallagher’s. The normal trivia hosts have been slightly sadistic this season. They come up with some of the most off the wall questions. But it’s fun. If I am not working, I generally go and play on the fire department/power plant team. We’re the HoneyBadgers. We generally do a fairly good job, especially if Suzy is participating. She’s the power plant representative on the team and we have adopted her into the firehouse.

But the true highlight of Wednesday night is Burger Bar. Over the winter, people can volunteer to work the grill. Some people have themed burger nights (Pirate Burger Baaarrrrrrr) and others just make some out of this world burgers. The firehouse has worked the grill a few times over the season, and Boss Hog can put together a mean burger.

On Wednesdays that don’t have burger bar or trivia, I generally hang out with a good friend of mine, Craig, and watch various TV shows. I’ve been introduced to Stargate, Big Bang Theory, Eureka and some others that I can’t remember the name of right now.

Winterbrain. It’s been rough this year.

Stay safe!

Things I do on Tuesdays!

Okay, I figure this is the easiest way to get back into blogging. Going back to my daily things I do theme.

Every Tuesday I work. It’s either a 0700 – 1500 shift, a 1500 – 2300 shift or the night shift, 2300 – 0800 the next day. It all depends on how my schedule for the week falls.

If I work the day shift on a Tuesday, that means Wednesday is going to be a 23 hour shift. If I work the night shift on Tuesday, it means I worked a 23 hour shift on Monday. If I’m working the swing shift, it means I have a 23 hour shift on the upcoming Friday.

Tuesdays aren’t bad. The only exceptional thing that happens on Tuesday that sets it apart from, oh, a Thursday, is the fact that we normally have teleconferences with Denver in the morning.

The best thing about working the night shift this winter has been the aurora watch. Sure, it was dark all the time, but we generally saw auroras during night time hours. Every now and then during the shift, if the aurora oval showed potential on the site, I’d put the spoon into the intercom system and duck out the back door to check for auroras. Thankfully the firehouse family is pretty big into photography for the most part, and we’d all share tripods and Jeff’s intervalometer (affectionately known as the velociraptor) to try to get some good shots. Despite the light from town, most of us managed to get a few decent shots of the southern lights, the Milky Way, shooting stars and the occasional iridium flare.iridium flare

shooting star



Stay cool.