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Lynn’s Blog: October 29th — Setup of Robot Camp

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Expedition 3: Antarctica

Lynn’s Blog

October 29th — Setup of Robot Camp

Lynn Kaluzienski

***Sorry for the delay in posting the following blog entry. Unlike my previous post would suggest, I haven’t been stuck at SPoT camp indefinitely. I’ve actually finished my field season (spoiler alert: it was successful) and made it back to Maine. While the following entries were written in the field, I’ve waited to post them to avoid bandwidth issues at McMurdo. I’ll continue posting on a semi-daily basis through the end of my journey.

Today we had perfect weather and made the 15 km ride to our new camp location. The team split into two groups; three of us rode by snowmobile and the other three followed by piston bully. Once we arrived we immediately set to work erecting tents, organizing equipment, and making our home both “bomb proof” and comfy.

Building a snow wall

Building a snow wall: Using a snow axe and shovel, I carefully measure and cut blocks of ice to excavate and stack along the side of my tent to prevent the prevailing southerly winds. I also relied on Seth Campbell to help move the super heavy blocks (or the ones I forgot to cut in half).

Its hard to imagine on a beautiful day like this that a storm could be around the corner, but its always possible. To prepare for heavy winds and blowing snow we anchor our tents with hundreds of bamboo poles. We also build snow walls to shield our personal tents from southerly gusts (no one likes to dig out ) and make sure all equipment that is stored outside is strapped down.

Tent and equipment behind snow wall

My new home! And all the stuff I have to fit in it.

Once everything is secure we move on to organizing our equipment, setting up the kitchen, and melting snow for water. Its easy to get caught up in the task at hand and forget the time, especially with little change in sunlight. It wasn’t until I came inside out of the cold for dinner (burritos, yum!) that I realized I hadn’t reapplied sunburn. In my past two years of fieldwork, the weather almost always warranted face protection from the wind and cold (such as a balaclava or buff), but even the best days require constant self-preservation from the elements.

Inside the cook tent

Hanging out in the cook tent, doing what we do best.

 

Lynn inside her tent

Inside my humble abode. There’s just enough room to sit and enjoy a book.

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