My Epic Journey to Antarctica – A Week at McMurdo

For those of you catching up, my first post on Antarctica is here and second post here.

This is a hard post to write since how do I capture a full week in one post? Here’s my attempt at that, but feel free to ask if there is something that you would like to see more of.

Here is a general overview. The entire site is built on the rocky slope of Mt. Erebus. There is very little soil and no vegetation so you really get the feeling that you are on another planet like Mars. The whole layout is very utilitarian and not designed for beauty. Yet the beauty of Antarctica surrounds you in every direction. Hopefully, you see that in the background of these photos.

a construction site with a mountain in the background a snowy mountain with a blue sky a large area with a lot of wire rolls a snowy road with buildings in the background

That last photo is on one of our bad weather days with a half inch of snow at about 3 degrees F – and this is summer in Antarctica!

Here is a great shot of the entire station taken from the other side of the port. Note the square structure in the foreground is the original hut from the ill-fated Terra Nova Expedition led by CAPT Scott. A tour on that tomorrow.

The barracks are the four buildings on the left with the sewage treatment plant on the right with the Crary Science Center just beyond that.

a snowy landscape with a lake and buildings

If you followed the road between the pass in the middle you would pass New Zealand’s Scott Base and continue on to the airfield on the ice.

a person standing in front of a sign

These pictures overlooking the sewage treatment plant show some of the spectacular view of mountains and ice. Notice that we have a little open water this day. The wind will either blow all the sea ice in to clog the port or blow it all the way out and we have clear seas. Changed every day.

a building in the snow a large white machine in the middle of a snowy landscape

Even in Antarctica you need to have coffee! The Coffee House is in an old Quonset hut left over from the Navy days of 1956. Very cool interior with a lot of history and artifacts.

a person in a red coat

a bar with a table and cups a room with chairs and tables

The theater is a “T” off the long Quonset.

a room with couches and a table

Hope you can see the big screen TV at the end.

At the Crary Science Center, they have all sorts of interesting experiments and prep for experiments that take place in the dry valleys or on the ice. I love this drawing that illustrates the dinosaurs found on Antarctica. Not the place that people think dinosaurs are usually found.

a plaque on a wall

a close-up of several pictures

What do most of the buildings contain. Interestingly, they are mostly shops and storage for the scientific expeditions that come down in November for a week to a couple of months to conduct experiments in the unique environments of Antarctica. One of the ones that fascinated me was the dry valleys near McMurdo – one of the most extreme deserts on the planet! These places look like the ultimate garage full of wood-working equipment and tents. This sign below is one of the absolute best I have ever seen!

a group of people standing in a room a workshop with many workbenches and tools a sign on a white pole a man standing next to a large warehouse

Of course there are places to take the mandatory cool selfie.

a man in a hat and red jacket

Tomorrow cool photos of history and nature.



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