Visibility conditions in the Fosdick Mountains are not currently ammenable for Christine Siddoway’s scouting needs, so the flight has been cancelled. This leaves me sitting in my warm office wearing too much ECW gear, with my bag packed. The Fosdick flight has been tentatively rescheduled for same time tomorrow, which means I probably won’t be on it (sniff).
Instead, I am slated to be on board a Twin Otter flight tomorrow with the friendly geodetic-minded folks at TAMDEF, who’ve generously invited me to observe them in the field! Whatever else happens, I bet we won’t get lost: TAMDEF is the group doing geospatial surveying along the TransAntarctic Mountains, monitoring the Terror Rift for movement/deformation, etc. They’ve got more mapping skills and geo-positioning equipment than you can shake a stick at.
Best of all: we’ll be heading out to a very unique spot — Deverall Island, the southernmost named island in the world!
Deverall is a small ice-covered island frozen into the Ross Ice Shelf. To visualize, think: small wrinkled raisin in a gigantic bowl of rice pudding. The raisin is tiny. The bowl is huge. The pudding is frozen.
Lattitude: 81° 29′ S
Longitude: 161° 55′ E
For additional information about this speck of land, see:
Information is hard to come by, but the TAMDEF site includes photographs of Deverall Island taken during their 2004-2005 season.
I’m keeping all of my fingers crossed for good weather now, as I may not have a shot at getting out with TAMDEF again, if their flight is cancelled. Wednesday I leave McMurdo in a helicoptor (aka: helo), bound for “Explorer’s Cove” at New Harbor with an Eagle Scout named Ben (seriously). New Harbor is the field camp site where Sam Bowser and company are diving, studying Foraminifera. (see Dr. Bowser’s website for a wealth of information about the location and the Antarctic Biology research he is doing with forams). I understand they have Jamesway huts, complete with cots, and email access. I may never want to return to McMurdo…