Welcome to Beacon Valley
BEACON VALLEY, ANTARCTICA– On November 3rd the field team arrived into Beacon Valley where we will spend the next six weeks working, sleeping, and enjoying life in sub-zero (Celsius) temperatures (mean summertime temperature is approximately -13°C and the maximum summertime temperature is typically around -5°C). Our helicopter flight en-route to Beacon Valley crossed the McMurdo Sound and I was surprised to see the ice edge (where the sea ice meets with open water). It usually isn’t visible this far south until my return trip late in the summer.
The 90 minute helicopter flight to Beacon Valley allowed me to reflect on the conveniences one takes for granted such as running water, warm showers, and simple means of communicating back to one’s family and friends. I will miss that. I won’t have such niceties until I return to McMurdo but at the same time the thought of my science objectives and potential for discovery that will occur between now and the next time I set foot in McMurdo has me excited to begin the field season!
We arrived into Beacon Valley to one of the most eerie / thrilling experiences of the entire Antarctic adventure. After the helicopter drops you and your camp gear off and fades away in the distance you are left in a totally foreign and cold environment.
You realize you are very much isolated from what we call the “real world”.
The following day the field team excavated glacial sediment to expose buried iced in search for good drilling locations (i.e. regions of clean ice). Today the helicopter transported the drilling equipment to the site, we set up the drill, and we took our first core of beautiful glacial ice this afternoon. The drill is working perfectly and we are all in good spirits.