Today’s Cape Evans trip was postponed because of weather, we had a Condition 2 out on the Sound, which means that one of more of these conditions are met:
- Winds 48 to 55 knots (55-63 mph) sustained for one minute, or
- Visibility less than ¼ mile, but greater than or equal to 100 feet sustained for one minute, or
- Wind chill -75°F to -100°F sustained for one minute.
I’m pretty sure it was the visibility that caused the Condition 2 this morning. It was lifted later, but I’m glad we postponed until tomorrow because the temps have been in the -20’s F all day with wind chill. Not fun to be out in. Tomorrow is supposed to be better. We have to get to Cape Evans soon, because the only access is via the sea ice, and that will soon be gone as summer approaches. The sea ice doesn’t melt away so much as it gets broken up by waves, currents and tide and gets blown out to sea.
So I spent the day taking photographs at a couple places around McMurdo, including Building 165, which is the nerve center of McMurdo where air traffic control and Mac Ops (McMurdo Communications Operations) are located. Mac Ops tracks all parties that are in the field, and there are strict protocols in place for safety, which include checking out and checking back in if away on a day trip from the station.