Steve’s Night Out

14 Dec

On a beautiful evening in September (yes, I am a bit behind in posting), I had the amazing opportunity to walk across the sea ice that is now our open water called Arthur Harbor.  Since so much ice had blown in and the temperatures had been so cold, there was a great base to walk on and we were cleared to walk across the sea ice safely over to Old Palmer, the site of the original Palmer Station built in the late 19060’s.  This opportunity only comes about once every decade, so everyone was pretty psyched. 

We got suited up in our float coats in the event we fell through to the water (frightful thought, I know).  We strapped on snow shoes and then we headed out. 

Getting ready for the excursion even though it began...zipping coats, putting on gloves, making sure the camera is easily accessible, etc. Notice the very flattering float coat. SAFETY FIRST.

The walk was only about 2/3 of a mile, but with amazingly beautiful scenery and breathtaking views in all directions. 

There were four of us in the expedition and we called ourselves ‘Steve’s Night Out.’  We must name our group so when we radio in and out, we can be differentiated from other groups out and about.  There is a reason for this specific name.  Steve, one our group members who happens to be a full-time staff member deployed for one month, was outdoors and being active.  This is not a common occurence for him and it was well noted.  

I seemed to always be in the back of the group of four of us since I couldn't stop taking photos.

The walk would have taken less than 30 minutes had we not taken photos, looked around, and chatted along the way.  It was a nice relaxing, after dinner, stroll in the neighborhood. 

At one point, about 1/2 way across, I turned around to check out the view and this is what I saw. It's Pretty Spectacular.

Some views as we walked on with the glacier on one side of us and ice as far as you can see on the other side.

It became more breathtaking the closer we got.It looks so remarkable and so fake looking. The blue is so stunning against the white ice.

It's just miraculous.


Really, this is what I get to see every day.


As we walked, I didn't forget to look down as well as out. There were these clear bits of ice trapped within the snow.


We even saw an outline of the Loch Ness Monster (hidden under the snow of course). If you look really hard, you can see the head, body and tail.


And we saw bergie bits trapped in as well.


This is a great view of the tippy top of Mt. William over the Marr Ice Piedmont. And look at how brilliantly blue the ski is.

And don’t forget about the wildlife sighting…

The Nobel Sheathbill soaring in the incredible blue sky.

We finally made it to the other side of the sea ice, just as the sun began setting.

And with the sun starting to set, we had to hurry back to station.

A nice photo of one of our group members watching the sun setting over the sea ice.

I know I continue to say this, but it’s things like this that make this place so amazing.  I am so fortunate to have this opportunity and thankful every day for these experiences.


2 Responses to “Steve’s Night Out”

  1. Tim McCandless December 15, 2011 at 8:52 pm #

    Looks cold and dangerous but it sounds like you had a good time! If any one there is looking at the geology ask them if we are looking at sedimentary, ignious or metamorphic rock. The mountains look like they may be granitic. May be 200 million years ago they were near the equator? Do they find fossils in any of the rock? Sorry, so many questions.

    • marcilevine December 27, 2011 at 10:54 am #

      Hi Tim,

      Yes, it can be cold, but not too dangerous. There is not anyone here that is studying the rocks now. I will ask around. I have been told that most of the rock is a form of granite. That’s pretty cool if it’s really 200 million years old. I’ll ask around and keep you posted. Happy Holidays!

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