The final few days at Otway

Andrew Beck, G-058, Sunday January 21st, Otway Massif, Antarctica

Four of the G-058 team members were picked up by LC-130 last Friday and are currently in McMurdo Station. The LC-130’s are big, but they aren’t big enough to get the whole team and our cargo out of the field in one flight. Jim, Rob and I remain at Otway and hope to be taken out tomorrow, weather permitting of course.

Given that four of our team members got one step closer to home, we count Friday’s pickup as a success. However, after two failed takeoff attempts, Friday’s plane taxied back to Otway camp and unload most of our cargo to try to get airborne on their third try. Jim, Rob and I then scrambled with Ski-doos to clear the dropped cargo pallets, sleds and boxes from the runway, and the plane got off the ground on the third try, and our teammates were on their way to McMurdo (via an unexpected and exciting stop at South Pole Station!).

The final few days at Otway have been busy, but well worth it. Most of our time has been spent getting the gear taken off Friday’s flight and the gear remaining in camp in order and ready for pickup. After doing some more packing this morning, Jim, Rob and I took a ski-doo trip to the southern side of Otway Massif to look for meteorites. While we didn’t have any luck finding meteorites, we did see some great vistas and had fun enjoying each other’s company (see picture). Rob treated Jim and I to a tasty pork loin dinner this evening and Jim and I are about to return the favor with some “no bake” cheesecake. Hopefully by this time tomorrow we will be enjoying the food and comforts of McMurdo!