Author: Jaime Ward
Temperature: -32 degrees
Wind Speed: 10 knots
Temperature with wind chill: -47 degrees
Sunrise: The sun no longer rises
Sunset: And therefore never sets
With rapidly dwindling hours of daylight and the prospect of gradually worsening weather, it's best to make the most of any opportunities we get to be outside and to explore some of the less frequented sites around the bases.
Last week, we were able to join a routine maintenance visit to the three wind turbines erected in 2010 and situated on the upper slopes of Crater Hill between Scott Base and McMurdo. Access to the wind farm site is usually restricted, but accompanied by the base electrician we were able to get a close up look at the towers and feel the hum of the huge blades sweeping overhead.
Wind turbine in action - JW.
Until recently, power for both bases had been provided by diesel generators, but New Zealand's wind turbines now provide up to a third of the electricity here, and are reducing greatly both the cost and the risk of transporting a tanker load of fuel each summer.
And as an unexpected bonus of the elevated site, we were treated to one of the final stunning sunsets over the Trans Antarctic mountains.
Sunset over the Trans Antarctic mountains - JW.