Third Trip to the Pole

This is the second attempt to create this blog. The last on locked up my computer about three fourths of the way trough loading pictures. At our baud rates, that equates to a day’s work. I have completed my third trip to the pole. This trip was to provide training to the weather observers down there in how to align a windbird so it is facing Grid North. We don’t use true direction down there because at the South Pole everything is north. I’m attaching a few pictures I have been taking lately. A few probably require an explanation. There are a series of tunnels under the snow at the pole to house things such as the wells. They also store food underground (snow) in a large warehouse. There are 45 10,000 gallon storage tanks undersnow to store fuel for the winter. It takes all summer for the C130’s to fill the tanks. Every flight drops off extra fuel. The fuel is specially blended to operate in cold temperatures. AN8 is what it is called. There are niches in the tunnel walls that people have created shrines of various sorts. Some are humorous, others are just plain weird. Frost from your breathe creates frost on everything. Apparently, some of the frost layers go all the way back to the fifties. I’m not sure if that is completely true, but what I can tell you is that it is extremely cold down there. For those of you that have seen “Whiteout”, you will notice that the station does not look anything like the one in the movie. The one in the movie doesn’t look like the old one either. Go figure. I guess they thought no one would notice. I didn’t until I was there. The glacier photos aren’t as beautiful as they are in person. The flow lines are gorgeous. That and the tops you see poking out a few hundred feet are actually thousands of feet tall. There is up to 2 miles of ice over the top of the ground in places. More snow builds up every year. Antarctica is not as affected by global warming as other areas because of the circumpolar winds. They go around the pole and keep the warmer winds and water out. Some pictures are actually taken here at MCM, like the ships and penguins. The open water is out by Tent Island.