The sun technically rose for the first time since April or so today around noon. I didn’t see it; pretty much no one at McMurdo did due to a combination of sight lines (thank you, Mountains!) and cloud cover. It’ll be up again tomorrow and by late September it will never set.
After work, I did sally forth for the first time on my own from the building where I work, live, eat and sleep. (Actually, that is not entirely true… it was my second trip out and about alone. Early this morning I went to the “gerbil gym,” a trailer-sized building where they keep the cardio equipment, to spend half an hour on the elliptical. As the gerbil gym is located roughly 50 feet from my building, I’m not really counting it as an excursion.) I walked the half mile or so to Hut Point, home to Discovery Hut, one of the early 20th century huts left behind by the likes of Scott and Amundsen.
You can’t go in to Discovery Hut except on a rare tour, but it was cool just to see it and even cooler to look out to the sea ice and darkening horizon, smudgey clouds interrupted by the tantalizing crags of mountains.
One thing that amazed me on the walk was how comfortable I was… it’s cold, but it’s a dry cold, arr arr arr arr… No, really. The gear they give us is ridiculously good. I always imagined polar bears and penguins and seals must feel the cold but now I’m not so sure. If you’re properly insulated, you can be quite cozy in temperatures that would otherwise be deadly. Of course, I feel like a cross between an astronaut and Kenny from South Park when I’m geared up, but that is another matter.
Now I’m headed to dinner, but not before posting some pix. Enjoy. (For all the pix above and below, by the way, you should be able to click on the photo to “embiggen” it… these were taken with my new Fuji Finepix camera which takes much larger files than my beloved Canon Powershot A70.)