Polynya and Hiking in the Wind
Because of the conditions of the ice our previous sampling area on the ice is closed. The canal the icebreaker made is open and there is polynya (open water area in the ice formed by the wind) forming between our base and the kiwi base and our sampling hole is in between these two areas, which makes the ice around it unstable and for safety reasons we cannot access this area anymore. As a consequence, we have to re plan our project and some of the treatments won’t be feasible anymore. With the lack of amphipods Tess and I ended up having a little free time in the afternoon and we decided to go on the Ridge Hike that starts from the hut point.
The hike was really nice and VERY windy, as soon as we got a little up from the hut point the wind picked up and the temperature felt extremely cold (but not unsafe cold to be clear). We put in practice all that we have been learning about safety in such extreme environments, and were checking on each other all the time, and checking our exposed skin for frost nip. The view from the top of the ridge was stunning but the wind was cruel, I could feel it penetrating through my hiking pants and my wool underwear leggings. I felt like John Snow walking on the wall! We didn’t make it all the way to the top, because with the wind and the snow on the trek it felt very slippery and unsafe. We made our way back to McMurdo and my legs were very red because of the cold, and it turns out I had a little frost nip on my cheeks that looked hilarious when my face started to warm up. It was great to be outside, but I am happy we were not out for too long.
The flights to the ice edge were cancelled again due to the weather! I'm starting to doubt if my group will have a chance to go, I am group 6 and group 3's flight keeps getting bumped.