A taste of New Zealand

This is our last day in New Zealand. We’ve driven around for a week to the mountains, farmland and ocean.          Also, we paraglided!            It was fun to pretend I was a hawk riding the thermals. But I did get nauseated when he started us on the 360-spins. JP, […]

McMurdo Sufferfest

So, one thing I have been disappointed with in my time in Antarctica is the lack of outdoor recreation. When it comes to indoor recreation, there’s plenty. Games, movies, drinking galore, fitness classes, organized sports in the Big Gym, even a climbing wall. But I didn’t come to Antarctica to be inside. As with most […]

Adventures in redeployment

We’re still in McMurdo. We were scheduled to leave this morning, but our flights were delayed 24 hours. That’s pretty typical. And given the airfield conditions this year, quite expected. McMurdo operates its flight traffic off of two air strips. One, called Pegasus, can handle large, wheeled aircraft like Airbuses and C-17s. Willy Airfield, however, […]


Here’s a quick list of some McMurdo vocabulary: Let’s start with Amenomania — “Wind madness” as described by Linda Davis in her book “Sir Ernest Shackleton.” It’s an obsession with the wind; its direction, speed and sound. Freshies — real food; not frozen or canned. Wasties — Waste department employees Stewies — Stewards or galley workers Fuelies — Fuels workers Runway — Willy […]

Tour of the USS Polar Star

Around this time in the McMurdo summer season, three large boats come to visit. They all serve to restock the town with supplies and food for the next year. They also take away trash, hazardous waste and gear from the year’s science experiments that need to go back to labs in the U.S. (The ice […]

Science lab tour

The building at McMurdo that houses all the science is called Albert P. Crary Science and Engineering Center. Albert P. Crary was a geophysicist and glaciologist and the first person to stand on both poles…at once! Just kidding. The building is currently about 4,300 square-feet, but has plans to grow in the next decade. The […]

Voting from the ice

The primary elections have come and gone in New Hampshire, my chosen state, but I was still able to participate and exercise my right to vote, even from Antarctica. While McMurdo is the United States, it is fairly common down here to feel out of the loop when it comes to news, pop culture and […]

Happy Campers

While the summer season is starting to wind down, there are still opportunities to recreate. One day a couple of weeks ago, Richard and I both won the lottery to go out on the McMurdo Ice Shelf and play in the snow. The trip is called Happy Camper. Although there is no overnight camping involved, […]

Richard gets to boondoggle

Because my work schedule is more restrictive than Richard’s, he comes over to eat lunch during my break. Most every day he is prompt and attentive to the time. Sometimes, he’s with a patient and can’t come. Sometimes, he just forgets. I usually try to page him if he isn’t on time to remind him. […]

“Shot my bolt”

On Saturday, Alastair Worsley died after being evacuated from Antarctica. He was 30 miles from completing his expedition of skiing across Antarctica in an unsupported expedition. Worsley, 55, called his support team from his tent on Friday to tell him he was exhausted and could not complete his goal. As he said, he had “shot […]