Saturday, October 29, 2011

Inside Scott's Hut

Scott's Hut
This is Scott's Hut, I mentioned it in an earlier post, but in case you missed that one here is the history:

Scott's Hut is a building located on the north shore of Cape Evans on Ross Island in Antarctica. It was erected in 1911 by the British Antarctic Expedition of 1910–1913 (also known as the Terra Nova Expedition) led by Robert Falcon Scott. In selecting a base of operations for the 1910–1913 Expedition, Scott rejected the notion of re-occupying the hut he had built by McMurdo Sound during the Discovery Expedition of 1901–1904. This first hut was located at Hut Point, 20 km south of Cape Evans. Two factors influenced this decision. One was that the hut was extremely cold for living quarters and the other was that Scott's ship, the Discovery, had been trapped by sea ice at Hut Point, a problem he hoped to avoid by establishing his new base further north.

Yeah, I'll address the sign in a minute....

Quick shout out to my tour guide, Mike Santos. You don't know him? He's kind of a big deal....

"Ok so here are some things we have to go over before we enter the hut. Don't touch anything........there is asbestos and traces of Anthrax in the hut...."


Is there anything here that is not life or death, super extreme, totally over the top? Guess this is why it is such a "harsh continent".

So, I guess it's not that bad. Asbestos; is in every old building somewhere, and the Anthrax is only found in trace amounts, considered not harmful to humans by the powers that be. They had dogs, horses, mutton, seal, and penguins, in one form or another there was germs and disease, whats a little Anthrax?

First thing is first, sign the guest register....

So into the hut, oh how I love old historic buildings....(seriously)

There are windows on almost every wall, but there is very little light. The windows are however wisely double pane; read two windows put together.

The creepiest thing about the hut is that it is still quite well stocked. I almost felt like someone was gonna come in while we were there. I mean there were even clothes hanging.

I have a feeling someone related to my mother was on this expedition. There was as many cases of these dog biscuits as there were cases of human food. I'm an animal lover too, but.....

Some of the instruments they used for science experiments.

Sometimes I guess we all forget the modern conveniences we take for granted. When our next day air package is delayed, or the power is temporarily off, or a simple daily task is frustrating enough to start swearing; we all need to remember how tough it used to be. Here is my reminder, the camp kitchen:

...uh the butcher's area?....still some seal on it...

...and the meat storage, fresh, well; stocked with mutton, seal, and Emperor penguin, yum....

Well that's the fifty cent tour. I'll leave you with a picture and a very cool fact (thanks Santos); this is the only place in the world where the first explorer's original building is still standing....and I was in it.

..........till next time......
...Cooking on Ice...

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

NASA Radar Dish

With out getting technical; which I can't because I don't know the ins and outs of it; there are computers behind this door. I do know that they looked very complicated and that was enough for me; and as I was taught as a child they also looked expensive; so I didn't touch them. (thanks Mom & Dad)

Not like wiring up cable and stereo. What do you do when it's not working? Uh..replace the yellow cable? Moving on; the computers are fed information from the dish on the hill. You know the golf ball things you see at airports and such.

I always thought they were much bigger...much bigger!

It was so windy and cold I would've gotten in through a mouse hole. I hope this isn't a door to Wonderland..nope no Rabbits here...or maybe..... really is a dish. It's 30 feet in circumference. Wait how come we only get three TV stations? I'm calling Direct TV! My guide told me to make sure I stayed up against the wall of the ball, which is incidentally made of a material that sounds and feels like a drum. He said what time it would start tracking and how long for.....

Wait! His cell phone has signal? It is a live feed or info or's on!!!! NASA has all the perks! Wonder if they need cooks? So the dish was scheduled to track a NASA satellite moving some insane speed like 165,000 MPH. I figured the dish would move fast, but you'll see its quite the opposite. (You'll see) The dish tracks all the satellites that cross the continent. So a really loud buzzer sounds, similar to a buzzer at a basketball game, and a red light....

Once it moves from its resting (neutral) position you can see the business end of the dish.


....the tracking took 12 minutes. Here is a short video. The clicking you can hear is it tracking....real slow. The speed the dish moves is dependent on where the satellite crosses in regards to the horizon.

So that's all for now. Until next time.............

                                                              ..............Cooking on Ice

Monday, October 17, 2011

Underwater...Again (The Underwater Observation Tube)

I just found out you can rent Subs here!!! Awesome!!!!!!!!
Had to take one out......

OK, got your attention. So what this actually is, is an underwater observation tube. It looks like this:

The tube was drilled into the ice and allowed to refreeze. It is very important that it refreezes before you enter it. Safety is a major concern here. So the tube is essentially a piece of steel pipe with a ladder that goes down to a short rope ladder ending in a glass enclosure with a wooden box to sit on and enjoy a once in a lifetime view. Here are shots of it going in:

Once it was clear to enter all you have to do is climb down......Yeah that's it...the idea itself seems a little absurd; but down I go....

(no that is not me; beautiful blond is to keep your attention)

So, once you're at the bottom, the lid needs to be closed to get the best view. Really? OK.

And here are the pictures; which as usual, barely show the true beauty and absolute awe inspiring views. Although you can only see a few things, you can hear everything, including the seals. Tried using the whale/seal call; you know from Finding Nemo?, but no luck. So here are what I took down there:

So that's my latest adventure....
Till Next Time ....Cooking on Ice