Monday, January 28, 2013

Last Weekend in McMurdo: January 26-28, 2013

In the past few days, it's suddenly sunk in how soon we're actually leaving McMurdo. After Wednesday, only Sean will be left for whatever attempts at recovery we're able to get this season. Saturday I walked out to Hut Point to check for penguins (there were none). The winds were picking up and it was starting to snow, so I went back inside and did laundry for the last time. 

Saturday JohnE and I met up with Erica, a friend of ours from St. Louis, who had just returned from four weeks in the field doing seismology work. Apparently people at her field camp saw the Super-TIGER balloon fly over just before Christmas. We also got reports from members of the BARREL experiment, who are launching balloons out of the British base at Halley Bay, that Super-TIGER flew over there and looked like it was going strong. We're now two and a half times around the continent and over 50 days of flight. 

Sunday it continued to snow, so I caught a shuttle over to the Scott Base store for some final souvenir shopping. I left this a little late, so the selection in the McMurdo store wasn't great and Scott Base had a few things I wanted to be sure I got. Sunday night we went to Burger Bar at Gallagher's again for dinner, which ended up being delicious like last week.

Monday I started packing everything up and trying to make it fit in my suitcase. So far, it looks like everything is going to fit, but I still have to get my room cleaned and my cold-weather gear sorted tomorrow. 

Since we need to pack up our office in Crary Lab, we're in the middle of our last monitoring shift. We already cleaned everything out and vacuumed, and when we're done with the shift we'll turn off our local monitoring computer and pack it up to ship back to St. Louis. Tomorrow it's time to finish packing and get everything ready to go to leave early Wednesday morning ("weather and logistics permitting", as the McMurdo Housing email said). 

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