High season at F6

We’ll have sixteen people at F6 tonight.   Well, maybe not.  If the weather clears enough that the helos can fly tonight then four people will leave.  No one is holding their breath.  This morning Eric, Jess and Ruth took down their tents and packed for a trip to McMurdo.  They were clearly puzzled when we returned early–thinking that 36 Hotel was coming to pick them up.   Instead, we jumped out and very quickly cleared our gear from the helo so that Scott could get across the lake to Fryxell camp, pick up a crew there and hightail it to Mactown before the weather closed down.  That was around 11.  The helo ops channel has been quiet since then except for one quick trip into the Valley by the Kiwi Astar.  Eric, Jess and Ruth have set up their tents again.

There are people here at F6 from seven science “events”.  A science event is a project with a particular focus.  Our event is C-506, aka The Stream Team.   C-506 also includes “Algae Ops,” which is part of what we were trying to accomplish today.   With us at F6 tonight will be people from G-084, W-486, C-517, C-509, C-504 and C-507.  In addition, we have one scientist from Unavco, which provides high-precision GPS location, and airborne and terrestrial LIDAR scanning.  (LIDAR is a laser-based ranging technology used in the Dry Valleys to map the topography of our valley and the shape of a river channel.   It’s analogous to the scanner attached to your computer, except it works in three dimensions, and over geographic scales.)

Here’s what F6 looks like now.

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F6, January 13, 2015.

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F6, January 13, 2015

I’ve dug out a huge block of Italian sausage, some meatballs and lots of tortellini.  We’ll be cooking for ten in the hut.  G-084 has an Endurance tent outside and will cook for themselves.

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The Endurance tent. This also comes in red and yellow; we call that version the bumblebee tent. The funnel on the drum in the left foreground is where we dump our gray water. Full barrels are strapped to the triwall boxes of solid waste to the left of the Endurance tent.  Our Christmas flag array is behind the waste complex.  It will just barely survive a 212 landing/takeoff.

 

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