Mactown

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If there is a magic on this planet, it is contained in hot water flowing from shower heads.

With profuse apology to Loren Eiseley.

Mactown has two virtues–hot showers and soft beds.  Otherwise, the field is far better.   Those two virtues are greatly appreciated, however.  In fact, one reason to spend three months in the field is to learn not to take our luxuries for granted.

McMurdo from the side window of 36 Juliet.

McMurdo, upon arrival, from the side window of 36 Juliet.

We left Lake Hoare today around 2:30 or so.  We took a roundabout route to Mactown–we went first to the Miers Valley where we did some final “touch up” work on two gauges and surveyed the lake level.  This was an efficient use of helo hours–we eliminated the need to make a separate trip later from Mactown.  Since we had all of our personal and project gear with us, this was only practical to do with “close support” where the helicopter stays with us (otherwise, we would have to unload and then reload our 500 pounds of stuff each time we were dropped off and picked back up.)

Our stuff, all 500 pounds of it, staged at Lake Hoare, waiting for 36 Juliet.

Our stuff, all 500 pounds of it, staged at Lake Hoare, waiting for 36 Juliet.  (The barrels hold gray water, including water from showering.  We stage gear behind the barrels to protect them from the rotor blast of the helos.)

Water at McMurdo is supplied by desalinating sea water.  This takes energy and the plant has a limited capacity.  Water conservation is encouraged.

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How much water and energy would they save if they showered once a week with two and a half gallons of water, as we did in the field?  My first shower in town probably used two or three times the amount of water I used in showering over the entire field season.   It was great.

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