Friday, October 3, 2008

Mainbody Delayed

Mainbody, the series of flights that bring the 700 -800 people to McMurdo for the summer season, was to begin flying last Tuesday. The flight that day was scrubbed for bad weather in Antarctica. The people in Christchurch had to either check back into their room, or if it was unavailable, had to find new lodging.

Wednesday, the next day, they boarded the plane and took off. After 3 hours in the air the weather at McMurdo turned bad and the plane had to "boomerang" or return back to Christchurch. The travelers had to find new lodging again. To compound matters, new people were arriving in Christchurch for Thursday's scheduled flight. Upon arrival, these new folks learned of the two busted days for group one. Group two realized they would never fly on Thursday.

On Thursday, the flight was canceled, again because of bad weather here at McMurdo. Group one and group two were now joined in Christchurch by group three. There are now around four hundred people in Christchurch waiting for the chance to fly down to the Ice.

Today, Friday, the plane was scheduled to take group one but the departure was scheduled five hours later than usual. As time approached for them to board the plane, it was canceled. This time it was canceled on the forecast of bad weather. Sadly, the bad weather never materialized and as luck would have it, group one could have departed and arrived without weather issues. Tomorrow, group four is scheduled to arrive in Christchurch. I'm sure hotel rooms are becoming scarce.

I'm wondering if Mrs. Shuwarger's fifth grade class remembers my earlier question: Who was the first explorer to reach the South Pole and when was it. For bonus points, tell me from what country this explorer came. You guys did a great job on questions about nacreous clouds, seals and penguins. Let's see if you can do as well with the question about the explorer. This is his picture:


eyedoc said...

What?! So, the first explorer to reach the South Pole was..... Abner Doubleday?!?!

Polar Doc said...

Abner Doubleday was [erroneously] credited with a "first", but reaching the South Pole was not it.

According to Wikipedia, "The myth that Abner Doubleday invented baseball in 1839 was once widely promoted and widely believed. There was and is no evidence for this claim,...".

I suppose if one can get credit for inventing the game of baseball without having actually done so, then one can also get credit for discovering the South Pole without actually having done so.

Nevertheless, Doubleday lived about 50 years before the explorer in question.

Tanya @ said...

I'm so glad D and Bubba's Sis shared your blog with me. I am just facinated to read about life at McMurdo. Thank you for taking the time to share. The photos are facinating.

Ms. Shuwarger's Class said...

Dr. Shuwarger, I did some research on the 1st explorer to reach the south pole and found out that it was Roald Amundsen from Oslo, Norway. He reached the south pole in 1899. I hope that's right because I'm not 100% sure. G.G. (one of our students) is begging me to put her name in this comment. She says hi.

-NRH (again)
P.S. How are you? You haven't said anything about that in any blog update.

Polar Doc said...

Dear NRH and G.G. (who begged to have her name included):

Roald Amundsen (July 16, 1872 – c. June 18, 1928) was a Norwegian explorer of polar regions. He led the first Antarctic expedition to reach the South Pole between 1910 and 1912. He was also the first person to reach both the North and South Poles. He is known as the first to traverse the Northwest Passage. He disappeared in June 1928 while taking part in a rescue mission. With Douglas Mawson, Robert Falcon Scott, and Ernest Shackleton, Amundsen was a key expedition leader during the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration. -- (from Wikipedia)

Good job, NRH! I am doing very well right now, but the population here is starting to have a bunch of colds. Lots of sniffing and sore throats. Thanks for asking.

The first flight of mainbody got in yesterday afternoon. The flight due in this morning at 6 am boomeranged (Mrs. Shuwarger will explain). We might get another flight in this evening.