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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

McMurdo Antarctica - the US experience

Looking out from the main office at McMurdo
McMurdo Station is typical of anything American. It's big and well equipped. It has around 1200 people on Station and doesn't sleep. We counted 6 C130 Hercs on the icestrip with 2 helicopters and an assortment of other research planes. That's more than  all of the Australian bases of Casey, Mawson, Davis, Mac Quarry Island combined. We were mostly camped in the gym for our time here which was fine. As was the case with the attempts to get here from Hobart, we had 2 goes at getting to Casey from here due to weather. We spent the weekend here which gave us time to look around the surrounding areas which included the NZ base,Scott. The McMurdo base has two bars, and a Coffee house along with a cinema and a gym. The gift shop is big and you can buy all sorts of stuff in the clothing line and foods. It takes US dollars of course and credit cards. No oz dollars. Not to worry, they even have ATM's that accept most cards. Get this, there's no charge of $2.00 to use the ATM. Bloody oz banks would have the gaul to charge you if we had them. Its science buildings are massive as you would expect. Its basically a small town and even then its bigger than some small towns back home. The food is its only let down. everything is so sweet and fried. Deep fried bacon and enough sugar in the pudding to send a man into a headspin.. Despite this minor flaw, the Amercians where very accommodating and friendly as usuall. I don't care what some may think of the Americans and their politics, the guys on the ground are just nice people.

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