Thursday, December 27, 2012

Lazy Seals and the Winds of Hut Point: December 27, 2012

Thursday I finally went over to the official "McMurdo Station, Antarctica" sign behind the dorms. I'm sure we'll be back to take photos with the sign at some point before we leave. There's a decent view of Mt. Discovery and the Royal Society Range, but there are also power lines in the way.

After that, I walked out to Hut Point. On the ice just off the tip of Hut Point, around the entrance to Winter Quarters Bay, there were a whole bunch of seals (probably Weddell Seals) lying around in the sun warming themselves up.  

Otherwise, the sea ice around Hut Point is pretty noticeably breaking up. 

I was reading a book about Scott's Terra Nova expedition of 1910-13 the other day, and kept stumbling across references to the "winds of Hut Point". Since I hadn't been out at Hut Point during any particularly windy periods, I wasn't quite sure what they were talking about, but after today I have a very good idea. It wasn't particularly windy in town, but out on Hut Point the winds picked up pretty considerably. Luckily, it was relatively warm, so the wind-chill didn't get down very cold, but it was significantly warmer in sheltered areas than the wind.

We still haven't seen any penguins, but JohnE's roommate Dennis apparently saw one just walking down the streets of McMurdo when he went to the Post Office today. We also got word that people had seen a group of several penguins off of Hut Point in the last day or so, but there obviously weren't any when I was out there this afternoon. Hopefully we'll get to see some soon, and we definitely expect more once the icebreaker comes in a few weeks.

1 comment:

  1. I saw the penguin too -- walked down the road behind the dorms (between the dorms and Hut point), then over some rocks and onto the ice.