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McMurdo Station is the biggest station of the US Antarctic Program with more than 1000 people in summer. It is like a small city with a café and a pub or even two pubs and many clubs that form over the summer.


I spend much of time the in Crary Lab, which is the main research facility at the station. The research carried out in the Crary lab ranges from biological to earth and atmospheric sciences. The Crary Lab has also a library with great views over the McMurdo Ice Shelf.


View form the library to the Ice Runway with the Royal Society mountain range in the background.



You can also see the helicopter pad from the library. Most scientist go to their field sites by helicopter.




Our lab







Over the summer months the sun does not set in Antarctica. The photo below was taken at 23h00 from our lab space in the Crary Lab at McMurdo Station.


It show the  the McMurdo Ice Shelf with Mount  Discovery  in the middle and Brown Peninsular on the right.




Well, actually we never left Christchurch yesterday! Just before the departure, our flight was cancelled because of strong winds in Antarctica. BUT today we made it!!!






The aircraft landed on the McMurdo Ice Shelf and from there we get brought to McMurdo Station on Ivan the Terra Bus.




McMurdo Station




It is 7 am and I am sitting in the departure launch of the US Antarctic departure room. After getting up this morning at 5 am to pack the last things , my bags are checked in  and I am now dressed in my ECW clothing, and waiting for the safety briefing for the flight. It is a nice sunny morning and hopefully we will make to Antarctica.


If weather conditions change on the way, the machine will  return to Christchurch.  As the main luggage does not get unloaded again, we labelled one of our bags as “boomerang bag” that will get stored separately and will be returned to us that we do not have to walk around Christchurch with our ECW gear for the next days.


Let’s hope for the best!



Queuing for check-in:



Our aircraft:



Inside the aircraft:



It is a very full flight including two helicopters for the Italian Antarctic Program:



Finally it was time to get my Antarctic clothing. The clothing is issued by New Zealand and US Antarctic programs in the International Antarctic Centre:





AND this is the cold the extreme cold weather clothing, that we need to wear or have in our carry-on bag on the flight to Antarctica in case there will be an emergency landing .





I made it to Christchurch with only minor delays. On the way, I had a stop-over in Singapore airport where I had enough time to visit one of the airport terraces with its great garden:







It is spring in Christchurch, and everything is flowering. New Zealand has a lot of native plants. One of my favourite plants is the Cabbage tree.




Anne D Jungblut

Anne D Jungblut

Member since: Sep 2, 2010

I'm Anne Jungblut from the Botany Department. Join me as I head to Antarctica to study cyanobacterial diversity in ice-covered lakes of the Dry Valleys and Ross Island where already scientists on Scott's and Shakleton's expeditions made many discoveries.

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