Monday, January 10, 2011

A Day with Fuels

Back in November, I got to spend a day assisting the Fuels department with their fuel deliveries to the Ice Runway and the LDB site. Every so often, a Delta truck with a large fuel tank is taken to various sites around station to fill up fuel tanks so that buildings and sites remain powered. This is particularly important for places that are not directly on-station, such as the two runways and the LDB site. The day I went out was sunny and beautiful. It was also the day that I saw penguins. :)

Emily fills up the fuel tank on the Delta as we start the day. She was one of two people I worked with and has worked multiple seasons in the Fuels Department.

The Delta and its massive fuel tank, which holds about 1,400 gallons of fuel.

Marshall tweaks the Delta's engine. He was the other person I worked with, and this is his first season in Antarctica.

While we were at the ice runway, a prop plane came in for a landing. Instead of a normal landing gear, the plane uses skis to touchdown.

Mt. Erebus, as seen from the sea ice, was steaming a bit that day.

This fuel tank was used as a "gas station" for vehicles coming to and from the ice runway.

On our way to the LDB site, we stopped to add fuel to the tanks used to keep the Happy Camper huts warm. Here is a view of Castle Rock from the south.

Mt. Erebus from the Happy Camper area.

The area marked by the black flags is a 50-foot deep crevasse used for the Happy Camper 2 course, which teaches ice-rappelling and rescue techniques.

A view of the three main summits of Ross Island: Mt. Erebus, Mt. Terra Nova, and Mt. Terror.

Marshall adds fuel to one of the LDB fuel tanks.

A view of Ob Hill from LDB.

Here you can see much of the LDB equipment that is kept outside. During the winter, most of it is packed into several millvans (the yellow-orange rectangular structures on the right) and placed on an elevated pack of ice to prevent it from becoming buried under snow and ice.

Mt. Erebus slowly steams under the sunlight.

Here I am adding fuel to the largest and most important of the LDB tanks. Apparently it was getting low because I managed to get 1,000 gallons of fuel in there. :)

The Transantarctic Mountains as seen from LDB.

Mt. Discovery as seen from LDB.

Penguins!! We saw these two penguins on our drive back to McMurdo Station!

They're so cute the way they waddle and flap their wings. :)-

Bye-bye cute, flappy, waddly penguin... :)

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