Sunday, November 25, 2012

Day Off and Fire House Visit: November 25, 2012

Sunday was our first day off since arriving in McMurdo. Saturday night, though, I took a time-lapse video of our ride from LDB to McMurdo in a Delta and have finally gotten it up on youtube:
The video starts out at Willy Field, and we drive away and start heading towards Ross Island. Unfortunately, the impressive view of Mt. Erebus that we get is out of the frame. The second vehicle that passes us is a Delta with the EBEX crew in it (we were assured that our Delta was the faster one. Oh well.). Once we turn and run alongside the island, you can see the green buildings of Scott Base in the distance. There's a point where we go into shadow for a little bit, and right there is the transition from the Ice Shelf to Ross Island. We swing through Scott Base and head up the hill. The hill off to the left as we're driving around is Observation Hill. At the base of Observation Hill is the McMurdo fueling station, where vans and other vehicles fill up with gas. We then go down into town and take a left in front of the dorms. The two brown buildings on the right are the dorms that our team is staying in, and then we take another left and the video stops in front of Building 155, home of the shop and cafeteria.

Sunday I took advantage of not having to work and slept in. After lunch, Sean, Richard, and I went over to the Fire House to take a tour of the station. We got to see both of the fire trucks and heard about all of the equipment that they use down here, including the various hoses and ladders. We also got to climb into the driver's seat and turn on the flashing lights and floodlights. Eventually, we got to go to the truck that was outside and they turned on the pumps and our tour guide, Matt, talked us through what was happening. Then we went back inside and got a chance to try on all of the firefighting gear that they had. It was a pretty cool tour and certainly much more exciting than hanging around in the dorm all day.

Otherwise, I spent the rest of the day watching a movie in the dorm and going to Crary Lab to use the internet (the internet in our dorms was down for some reason). I had planned to go to the Sunday science lecture, but it was apparently cancelled. It was a pretty relaxing day, and nice to have a day without too much work, especially with a busy week ahead of us.

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