Way back in 1976-77, at the tender age of 20, I worked a summer season at the US Navy base at McMurdo Station in Antarctica. I was employed by a New Zealand company that was contracted to do one of the most important jobs ‘on the ice’ … washing dishes!
I took a lot of photos whilst I was down there, all printed as slides. For decades these slides languished in a box at the bottom of my cupboard. Then last year I pulled them out and put a few of them through a slide-to-JPG converter. Here are the results. There are some potentially interesting ‘military’ modelling ideas here!
The stately (albeit smelly) Emporer penguins.
Getting up close with the wildlife – a curious Adelie penguin.
Our street during a polar storm.
My home away from home for four-and-a-half mnths – a quonset hut originally designed for the tropics!
Mount Erebus seen from the air, with a glacier in the foreground.
A fishing hut out on the sea-ice. A hole drilled through the floor allowed scientists to catch and tag Antarctic Cod.
A US Navy ski-equipped Hercules at Willy Field.
When there’s so much snow, well, you’ve just gotta build a snowman, don’t you?!
All the airport facilities at Willy Field were bult on sledges so they could be towed away when the sea-ice began to melt.
At Scott Base with a sled-dog pup.
One day I flew out in a helicopter to deliver mail to the Coast Guard icebreaker cutting a channel for our re-supply ship.
This vehicle was the regular bus service between McMurdo Station, the ice runway at Willy Field, and New Zealand’s Scott Base.
The National Science Foundation chalet, with Observation Peak in the background.
The ice runway at Williams Field, with Mount Erebus in the background.
McMurdo Station even boasted a city park – a piece of plastic grass and a couple of artificial lemon trees! No sheep grazing allowed …
The Coast Guard cutter escorts our re-supply ship into harbour at McMurdo Station. Note the sign pointing out that this is the enlisted beach!
McMurdo Station has a small chapel, called Our Lady of the Snows.
Me after only a few moments out in a polar storm! (I wish I still owned that wolverine fur parka!)
The view outside the ‘galley’ where I worked washing dishes.
The American base where I worked – McMurdo Station. Population about 600 during the summer. This photo was taken at midnight!
Mout Erebus – to become the scene of a tragedy a couple of years later when an Air New Zealand DC10 crashed into its flank.
The car-park. You could only turn off the engine if the electric heater was plugged in to stop the radiator freezing.
An Antarctic explorer? Nope, just a stroll on the road between McMurdo Station and the New Zealand base, Scott Base.
McMurdo Station even had boy-racers! A Weasel, I think …