New photos found in Scott’s Hut!!

Here is some info on the new photos found in Scott’s Hut. It’s amazing to look at as I have seen and been to these places!

The article is published by the Antarctic Heritage Trust who are performing some restoration on the hut.   There are some other great pictures of the historic huts also.  Please check it out.

http://www.nzaht.org/AHT/antarctic-photos/

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Cape Evans, Antarctica. Part 2

Howdy again everyone.  It’s been a busy couple weeks as I have been training lots of scientists the art of snowmobiling, selling paintings at the McMurdo craft show, and doing Search & Rescue training.  I have lots of new material to post, just not enough time, so please be patient, but there is lots more exciting things to come. : )

Here is part 2 of my Cape Evans post.  I hope you enjoy the pictures.  It was one of the most incredible days I have had in this amazing place.

Some beautiful ice crystals near Cape Evans, Antarctica.

Some beautiful ice crystals near Cape Evans, Antarctica.

Ice crystal formations near Cape Evans, Antarctica.

Ice crystal formations near Cape Evans, Antarctica.

The Barne Glacier.  This is the end of the glacier where it runs into the Ross Sea.

The Barne Glacier. This is the end of the glacier where it runs into the Ross Sea.

Icebergs frozen into the Ross Sea at Cape Evans, Antarctica.

Icebergs frozen into the Ross Sea at Cape Evans, Antarctica.

The remains of a dog in the stable area of R.F. Scott's Hut at Cape Evans, Antarctica.  The chain and collar are still on the dog.  It looks like it simply laid down to rest on it's bed and died.  : (  The early explorers used dog teams to reach the South Pole and they were often used as food when they became weak.

The remains of a dog in the stable area of R.F. Scott’s Hut at Cape Evans, Antarctica. The chain and collar are still on the dog. It looks like it simply laid down to rest on it’s bed and died. : ( The early explorers used dog teams to reach the South Pole and they were often used as food when they became weak.

A snowshoe made for a horse.  R.F. Scott tried to use horses to reach the South Pole, but they proved to be unsuccessful.  When they could no longer make it though the deep snow, the horses were killed and used for food.

A snowshoe made for a horse. R.F. Scott tried to use horses to reach the South Pole, but they proved to be unsuccessful. When they could no longer make it though the deep snow, the horses were killed and used for food.

A huge stack of seal blubber.  The seal blubber was used to provide both food (which likely sucked) and was burned in "blubber stoves" to heat the historic huts of the early Antarctic explorers.  The blubber still appears to be oozing fats and oil as there is nothing here to cause decomposition.  No insects, rodents, and freezing temps year round.  The smell of the blubber is very distinct and quite noticeable in Scott's hut at Cape Evans, and the Discovery Hut located at Hut Point.

A huge stack of seal blubber. The seal blubber was used to provide both food (which likely sucked) and was burned in “blubber stoves” to heat the historic huts of the early Antarctic explorers. The blubber still appears to be oozing fats and oil as there is nothing here to cause decomposition. No insects, rodents, and freezing temps year round. The smell of the blubber is very distinct and quite noticeable in Scott’s hut at Cape Evans, and the Discovery Hut located at Hut Point.

Tea and other supplies inside of Scott's Hut at Cape Evans, Antarctica.

Tea and other supplies inside of Scott’s Hut at Cape Evans, Antarctica.

The dining table inside Scott's Hut at Cape Evans.  Both Shackleton and Scott's expeditions used this table.  Imagine the holiday celebrations the men had, the discussions, the planning for their attempts to be the first to reach the South Pole.  The history just oozes out of this fantastic place and you can literally feel it.  Amazing!

The dining table inside Scott’s Hut at Cape Evans. Both Shackleton and Scott’s expeditions used this table. Imagine the holiday celebrations the men had, the discussions, the planning for their attempts to be the first to reach the South Pole. The history just oozes out of this fantastic place and you can literally feel it. Amazing!

Medical supplies inside the hut.  Everything is still in place, as if the men would be returning at any time.

Medical supplies inside the hut. Everything is still in place, as if the men would be returning at any time.

A table containing artifacts and science projects of the early Antarctic explorers.  The emperor penguin is not stuffed.  It is just as it was originally left.  History is frozen in time.

A table containing artifacts and science projects of the early Antarctic explorers. The emperor penguin is not stuffed. It is just as it was originally left. History is frozen in time.

Here I am looking like I have bug eyes.  LOL.  In the background you can see an iceberg frozen in the Ross Sea, and Mt Erebus erupting!  Such an awesome day!!

Here I am looking like I have bug eyes. LOL. In the background you can see an iceberg frozen in the Ross Sea, and Mt Erebus erupting! Such an awesome day!!

Cape Evans, Antarctica Part 1

Howdy everyone… As a prize for winning the Halloween costume contest a bunch of us got the opportunity to snowmobile to Cape Evans. This is where Robert Falcon Scott’s Terra Nova hut was built for his failed expedition to be the first to the South Pole. The hut was completed in 1911 and was also used by Shackleton during his failed attempt to be the first to traverse across Antarctica. The history and stories of this hut are truly amazing. The courage, and strength of the men that stayed here is like no other on earth. They had to endure unbelievable hardships. To learn more about some of these men I suggest that you read the book “Shackleton’s Forgotten Men”. Just stepping foot in this hut you could feel the history and stories seep into you. The hut is preserved and maintained by the Antarctic Heritage Trust. They try to ensure that the artifacts are in the places that they were found. To walk around inside is like going back in time. There is no glass to separate you from the artifacts, just time itself. I feel so very lucky to experience it first hand and have really enjoyed reading books about these determined and hearty souls. Because this place has so much history, and I took over 250 pictures, I will post several entries dedicated to it. Enjoy the pictures and descriptions. Please know that I would love to tell you all more about this place in person (along with many pictures) when I get back to the states.

The Barne glacier.  This glacier flows down from Mt. Erebus and into the frozen Ross Sea.  The size of things in Antarctica can be deceiving... the flanks of this glacier are several hundred feet straight up.  It's a very dangerous place as you never know when the massive chunks of the glacier will calve off.  Some of the broken pieces are larger than several houses.

The Barne glacier. This glacier flows down from Mt. Erebus and into the frozen Ross Sea. The size of things in Antarctica can be deceiving… the flanks of this glacier are several hundred feet straight up. It’s a very dangerous place as you never know when the massive chunks of the glacier will calve off. Some of the broken pieces are larger than several houses.

R.F. Scott's Terra Nova hut at Cape Evans, Antarctica.  This hut was built for Scott's failed expedition to be the first to the South Pole.  He made it to the pole, but was beat there by Amundsen.  Scott and his men died on their return from the pole.  Behind the hut is a flank of the active volcano Mt. Erebus.

R.F. Scott’s Terra Nova hut at Cape Evans, Antarctica. This hut was built for Scott’s failed expedition to be the first to the South Pole. He made it to the pole, but was beat there by Amundsen. Scott and his men died on their return from the pole. Behind the hut is a flank of the active volcano Mt. Erebus.

Hundreds of dead starfish outside Scott's Terra Nova hut at Cape Evans, Antarctica.  The starfish appeared earlier this season and nobody knows why.  It's been a big mystery down here.  My guess is that there was a very high tide during the "supermoon" and the starfish flowed through the tidal cracks in the ice and became stranded along the shore.

Hundreds of dead starfish outside Scott’s Terra Nova hut at Cape Evans, Antarctica. The starfish appeared earlier this season and nobody knows why. It’s been a big mystery down here. My guess is that there was a very high tide during the “supermoon” and the starfish flowed through the tidal cracks in the ice and became stranded along the shore.

R.W. Richards writings on the wall of his bunk in Scott's Cape Evans Hut.   He was a member of Shackleton's unsuccessful Trans Antarctic Expedition when Shackleton  attempted to be the first to traverse across the continent.  Richards was keeping track of the men who died.  He was part of the expedition that setup food depots on the second half of the continent for over two years, not knowing that Shackleton would never even start the traverse.  The story is even more amazing than Shackleton's Endurance story.  I highly recommend reading the book "Shackleton's Forgotten Men"  Two of the men listed in the picture were Haywood, and Macintosh, who both died trying to get back to Cape Evans from Hut Point.  They were stranded at Hut Point in the Discovery Hut and were waiting for the sea ice to be safe enough to cross.  They didn't listen to their comrades and decided to have a go at it.  They ended up on unsafe ice that flowed out to sea and were never seen again.

R.W. Richards writings on the wall of his bunk in Scott’s Cape Evans Hut. He was a member of Shackleton’s unsuccessful Trans Antarctic Expedition when Shackleton attempted to be the first to traverse across the continent. Richards was keeping track of the men who died. He was part of the expedition that setup food depots on the second half of the continent for over two years, not knowing that Shackleton would never even start the traverse. The story is even more amazing than Shackleton’s Endurance story. I highly recommend reading the book “Shackleton’s Forgotten Men” Two of the men listed in the picture were Haywood, and Macintosh, who both died trying to get back to Cape Evans from Hut Point. They were stranded at Hut Point in the Discovery Hut and were waiting for the sea ice to be safe enough to cross. They didn’t listen to their comrades and decided to have a go at it. They ended up on unsafe ice that flowed out to sea and were never seen again.

RW Richards bunk at Cape Evans, Antarctica.  His writings were on the boards just left of his pillows.

RW Richards bunk at Cape Evans, Antarctica. His writings were on the boards just left of his pillows.

Bunks and eating area inside R.F. Scott's Terra Nova Hut at Cape Evans, Antarctica.

Bunks and eating area inside R.F. Scott’s Terra Nova Hut at Cape Evans, Antarctica.

Emperor Penguin on a desk in Robert Falcon Scott's Terra Nova Hut.  Cape Evans, Antarctica.

Emperor Penguin on a desk in Robert Falcon Scott’s Terra Nova Hut. Cape Evans, Antarctica.

The taste of victory!

Howdy everyone! I’m sorry I haven’t posted recently. It’s been really busy here as the scientists (beekers) are now rolling in and the station population is up to about 800 people. A lot of projects are moving forward so I have had a lot of equipment to roll out and training classes on snowmobiling. More on that later!

The standard work week down here in Antarctica is 54 hours per week, so we work hard. Plus there is a lot of time that you donate towards other things to make the community and life down here better. For example, I volunteer time in the craft room, and doing tours of the historic Huts of Robert Falcon Scott, and Earnest Shackleton. Nice, Huh? : ) But what I was trying to communicate was that because we work hard and have to support and rely upon each other, we also have a lot of fun community activities.

Earlier this season I went to Scott Base, which is the New Zealand Antarctic station just a short distance away. My friends Dave, Tyler, Rich, Cary, and myself entered the Antarctic Flip Cup competition. Needless to say, I had never played Flip Cup before, so I was a bit nervous. In the game you have 3 cups of varying size filled with an alcoholic beverage. In this case it was Hard Cider that the Kiwi’s wanted to get rid of. You start by drinking the first cup and then standing it on the edge of the table. You flip it upside down and then move on to your second cup, then the third. When you are done, your teammate then goes until your team is complete. We ended up being quite good at this game as we smashed the competition in the team games and set the speed record as well! We then competed individually and a fuelie named Jamie won.

Playing flip cup at Scott Base, Antarctica.  The players from left to right are: Cary, Rich, Me, Tyler.

Playing flip cup at Scott Base, Antarctica. The players from left to right are: Cary, Rich, Me, Tyler.

Me holding the trophy and Tyler making funny faces.

Me holding the trophy and Tyler making funny faces.

Tyler, Cary, Me, Rich, and Dave... The team champions of Antarctic Flip Cup!

Tyler, Cary, Me, Rich, and Dave… The team champions of Antarctic Flip Cup!

We also recently celebrated Halloween… which is quite the fun event down here. A lot of people participate and have some absolutely amazing costumes! During the Halloween party there was a “Group Competition”. Some friends and I went as professional wrestlers. Our friend Tad was Hulk Hogan and had been prepping for this day for quite some time. His costume was awesome!  We actually staged a “WrestleMania” on stage and I got put in the Camel Clutch by the Iron Sheik.  Hulk came to rescue me and smashed a chair over the Sheik!  The winner was decided by the crowd and you guessed it.. We Won the overall!

The wrestling crew: Nacho Libre (me), The Iron Sheik, The Manager, Hulk Hogan, Brooke Hogan, Randy Macho Man Savage, and Jimmy Superfly Snuka.

The wrestling crew: Nacho Libre (me), The Iron Sheik, The Manager, Hulk Hogan, Brooke Hogan, Randy Macho Man Savage, and Jimmy Superfly Snuka.

Me as Nacho Libre.  Too bad you can't see my cool pants and knee pads!

Me as Nacho Libre. Too bad you can’t see my cool pants and knee pads!

Tad as Hulk Hogan standing on the top of Observation Hill in Antarctica.

Tad as Hulk Hogan standing on the top of Observation Hill in Antarctica.

In addition to all this excitement, I was a member of the champion Dodgeball team… I just don’t have any pics of that yet.  I really feel fortunate to be here and be a part of this fun community.  I am also thankful for the friends that I have met down here.  They are great people!

Icebergs in the Ross Sea Ice and Scott’s Hut at Cape Evans

Here are some pictures of icebergs stuck in Ross Sea ice. They were truly amazing to see and much more impressive than the pictures show. Only about 10% of the iceberg is visible so the other 90% is underwater. These icebergs were likely grounded deep underwater and then frozen in the annual Ross Sea Ice.

The last picture is of R. F. Scott’s hut at Cape Evans, Antarctica. This was built as his home base during his South Pole Expedition over 100 years ago. He and his men died on their return from the pole. They nearly made it to a food depot stashed in the ice.

A large iceberg stuck in the Ross Sea Ice.

A large iceberg stuck in the Ross Sea Ice.

A very large iceberg stuck in the Ross Sea Ice.  A Hagglund is in the distance.

A very large iceberg stuck in the Ross Sea Ice. A Hagglund is in the distance.

I love icebergs!!

I love icebergs!!

Me in front of the iceberg.

Me in front of the iceberg.

This massive iceberg is stuck in the Ross Sea Ice.  It is sticking out of the ice about 50 feet and the other 90% of it is under the sea ice!!  That is an ice cave about half way up the face of it.

This massive iceberg is stuck in the Ross Sea Ice. It is sticking out of the ice about 50 feet and the other 90% of it is under the sea ice!! That is an ice cave about half way up the face of it.

Another shot of the large iceberg.

Another shot of the large iceberg.

Iceberg stuck in the Ross Sea Ice.  A pressure ridge crack around the whole thing makes the perimeter very dangerous.

Iceberg stuck in the Ross Sea Ice. A pressure ridge crack around the whole thing makes the perimeter very dangerous.

Beautiful iceberg in the Ross Sea Ice.  The part showing above the surface is only about 10% of it's actual size.   That would mean that the part we can't see is over 500 feet down under the ice!

Beautiful iceberg in the Ross Sea Ice. The part showing above the surface is only about 10% of it’s actual size. That would mean that the part we can’t see is over 500 feet down under the ice!

The Trans-Antarctic Mountains behind a giant iceberg.  The mountains are also known as the Royal Society range.

The Trans-Antarctic Mountains behind a giant iceberg. The mountains are also known as the Royal Society range.

Looking down a sea ice crack

Looking down a sea ice crack

Scott's Hut at Cape Evans, Antarctica.  This was R.F. Scott's base during his South Pole expedition over 100 years ago.  It's amazing to think that it exists exactly as they left it.

Scott’s Hut at Cape Evans, Antarctica. This was R.F. Scott’s base during his South Pole expedition over 100 years ago. It’s amazing to think that it exists exactly as they left it.

Scott’s Discovery Hut and Vince’s Cross

Last night I had the opportunity to go inside Robert Falcon Scott’s Discovery Hut which was built during his 1902 Discovery Expedition to Antarctica. The interior has many supplies including seal blubber that his men cut up to eat, and burn for fuel to generate heat. You could still smell it in the air and see the piles of blubber oozing on the ground. The men who were stranded here over an Antarctic winter had to cut up the sails of the ship to make clothing, and also a tent like structure inside the hut to keep heat around the fire where they burned the blubber! The men departed quickly and basically left the hut as you see it.

Supplies in Scott's Discovery Hut

Supplies in Scott’s Discovery Hut

Supplies and cut up sails in Scott's Discovery Hut

Supplies and cut up sails in Scott’s Discovery Hut

Scott's Antarctic Expedition supplies inside Discovery Hut.

Scott’s Antarctic Expedition supplies inside Discovery Hut.

Me investigating the seal blubber that the men used to burn and eat to survive when they were trapped.

Me investigating the seal blubber that the men used to burn and eat to survive when they were trapped.

Dog biscuits the men used during their Antarctic expeditions.

Dog biscuits the men used during their Antarctic expeditions.

Pants the men made from the sails of their ship while they were stranded and freezing.

Pants the men made from the sails of their ship while they were stranded and freezing.

Supplies on the shelves inside Scott's Discovery Hut.

Supplies on the shelves inside Scott’s Discovery Hut.

Me holding a pan of chopped up seal blubber that Scott's men ate to survive when they were stranded in this hut over the Antarctic winter!

Me holding a pan of chopped up seal blubber that Scott’s men ate to survive when they were stranded in this hut over the Antarctic winter!

Axe used by Scott's men to chop up seal blubber.

Axe used by Scott’s men to chop up seal blubber.

Carcasses hanging up in Scott's Discovery Hut.

Carcasses hanging up in Scott’s Discovery Hut.

Antarctic sunset with Vince's Cross in the foreground.

Antarctic sunset with Vince’s Cross in the foreground.