Archive for the ‘Photo-of-the-Day’ Category

Breaking the silence

Wednesday, December 10th, 2008

Yes, it’s been quiet here on the blog, but not due to my untimely demise (no matter what some people wish for, I have thus far resisted joining the Choir Invisible).  Rather, we have been very busy.  Most recently, we made a 6-day foray to the coast to assess conditions, equipment, and depot containers.  I’ll try to write something of our experiences, but here are some photos to whet the appetite:

Challengers heading northwards towards the coast.

A pair of Skuas on the ice shelf at Blaskimen Bukta.

Morgan in the old ramp cut into the ice shelf, with a large polynia (area of open water in the pack ice) visible behind.

Composite satellite image of the sea ice conditions north of Queen Maud Land, courtesy of the University of Bremen Institute of Environmental Physics.  The approxiomate edge of the ice shelf is marked in green.  The polynia visible in the previous photo can be seen at 70S 3W.

Powder – not just an odd movie

Sunday, November 30th, 2008

We had some of the best quality snow we’ve ever experienced at SANAE today – the miserable weather of yesterday disappeared leaving fresh snow, but without the usual wind to blow it away.  Today was bright, calm and clear, and we made good use of the blessing of 5-20cm of soft powder.  While we work hard at the base, we don’t miss a good oportunity to play.  A couple of pictures – video hopefully to follow:

Sanki and I skied cross-country around to the northern windscoop to meet up with the others.  It’s about a 5 km trip all the way around, but  with the temperature at only -7, and no wind, it felt deliciously warm.  Pairs of Snow Petrels wheeled through the sky above us, courting and seeking nests.  Here I am, making no attempt to hide the resultant grin, with the northern buttress of Vesleskarvet in the background.  Yes, Mom, I was wearing sunscreen.

At the buttress the snow was deep and soft, and soon everyone was carving down the perfectly concave slope.  It’s a great place to learn to ski and snowboard, because the slope gradually levels out in a safe windscoop, and with the lovely powder falling was amusing rather than painful.  Some, of course, were more graceful than others – here’s a picture of Sanki styling on her snowboard:

Last one is a gratuitious picture to shamelessly promote First Ascent, a South African company who make top-notch outdoor clothing.  I’ve been a fan of their kit for as long as I can remember, and it’s treated me very well here in Antarctica.  I call this my ‘Ski Ninja’ outfit – all that is missing is the black balaclava (yes, I really do have one, made by First Ascent, of course!).  More kudos to my mate Moose for lending me those ski’s.  You’re rad.

Photo-of-the-Day – 15 November 2008

Saturday, November 22nd, 2008

Yes, these are a little overdue.  Still worth it – beautiful sundogs and a 10-degree arc.  Enjoy!