Team Protist finished field work this past week. Leaving the dry valley field sites is bittersweet. It is a good feeling to know that the field season was successful and that you’re closer to getting home, but it is sad to leave such a beautiful place and friends that are still working in the field.
Wei, tired from the field season, naps at Bonney camp.
We didn’t have much time to savor the last hours at Bonney camp as bad weather heading towards McMurdo forced helicopter pick-ups to occur much earlier than scheduled. It is surprising how different the weather can be between the dry valleys and McMurdo and how fast the weather can change on this continent.
Rachael and Jenna stopped at Lake Fryxell for one last round of sampling before heading back to McMurdo. We finished without a minute to spare. As we drove across the lake on the ATV the helicopter was landing on shore. The helicopter flew through some very low visibility areas on the way back and the pilot wasn’t sure if we would be able to land in McMurdo due to the poor weather conditions. After a few tense moments the landing pad in McMurdo became visible and the pilot landed without any issues. Whew!
While the weather was beautiful at Lake Fryxell, snowy conditions occurred in McMurdo.
This week the team will do a lot of unpacking and finish up some experiments in McMurdo before heading back to the states.