Antarctica Expedition : Post #7 - October 20, 2012

Monday, October 22, 2012

Antarctica Oct 20

Evening is dwindling...So I though I would take the opportunity to photograph the last glimpse on night (12:00 AM) it then becomes light again.

 
View from our window... Notice the crescent moon above...

View from our window... Notice the crescent moon above...

 

Murphy, Loomi (from support) and I all met at the Heliport at 7:45 to start our second day of photographing.

 
So much to see on the way...

So much to see on the way...

 

Lake Vanda, was one of the most magical places that I have ever been to. The lake is a hypersaline lake (the most Saline lake in the world...10 times as saline as the dead sea). It is about 220 feet deep. It is a meromictic lake which means that the deeper layers do not mix with the shallower layers.... the bottom layer is around 73 degrees F, the top is around 37 degrees F. it is covered with a transparent ice sheet which is around 11 feet deep. This layer freezes during the winter and melts in the summer (December) causing a liquid moat to form. When it refreezes it is deeply rooted with cracks and melt lines.

So you can imagine how magical it is to look down into this maze of cracks, bubbles, fissures, etc..

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The sun is very low right now and soon we won’t see it. So by 12:00 noon we were in shadow and headed up to Bull's Pass to visit the area of the Ventifacts.

 
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These are ancient rocks that have been pitted, abraded, etched, grooved, or polished by wind driven sand or ice crystals into various formations.

 
 

I decided to sit by one and enjoy my lunch of peanut butter and crackers under one of the formations.

There is no limit to your imaginations as the forms are "birds of prey", "elephants", "bells", "abstractions", etc.

 
 
 
 

So fantastic and otherworldly.

We head home after to Saturday night at McMurdo... followed by Sunday... Our day of rest.

Posted by Diane Tuft