As I told in the previous post, this year we had to travel in a airplane of the US Air Force... and is not very comfortable, but the landscape after about 5 hours of fly is really amazing. 2 hours more and we arrived at the McMurdo Station (at 19:00 New Zealand local time - UTC+12...it means when In Portugal are 8:00 in the morning, here are the 21:00 of the same day, and - it takes a while to be confortable with that - at 20:00 in Portugal here are the 9:00 of the day after!!!!). A very gentle lady was there to guide the American and New Zealand researchers and military to the bus (IVAN the TERRABUS-a very nice, strange and big vehicle) for the down town of McMurdo. Instead, we (12 Italians + 1 French) stayed in the airport waiting for some news!!!! After a few minutes, we saw the Twin Otter was there waiting for us and 8 of the 13 new arrivals, were immediately embarked for the last trip to MZS (Mario Zucchelli Station). The other 5 had to wait for the next trip of the Twin-Otter at 1:30 in the morning!!!!! One of the most important things that an Antarctic guy has to have is patience...
The landing at the 'airport' of MZS was not so gentle as it was in McMurdo, but finally we arrived.
Welcome to MZS (Mario Zucchelli Station).
After the greetings with the manager of the station, the leader of the expedition, and all the people I know since the previous expeditions and also with the ones that are new in Antarctica a light dinner, a shower and then in bed to be ready and operative the following day.
Wake-up at 6:30, breakfast from 7:00 to 8:00, Lunch 13:00-14:00, Dinner 20:00 -21:00...and on Sunday... we are in the Italian Station so... pizza!!!! The rest of the day... work, we are here for this... not for vacation. On the other hand, here there is nothing else to do. No bars, no cafes, no restaurants and no discos!!!
Regarding now the works I came here to do: I have to make the normal maintenance of the 'old' GASCOD - Gas Analyzer Spectrometer Correlating Optical Differences - installed here at the station since 1996; I'll install the result of more than 10 years of development and adjustment, the new spectrometer called GASCODNG1 (NG stays for New Generation, for continuity with the old one) or SPATRAM/MZS (Spectrometer for Atmospheric Tracers Monitoring). The double name is due to the different research projects (SAMOA and MATAGRO) funded for this activity by Italy and Portugal. The collaboration between PROPOLAR and Italian Project for Antarctic Research (PNRA) is not still official, but we are working on that aiming to extend the possibility of collaboration to other field of research in the Ross sea for Portuguese scientists.
All the photos of this post are reproduced for kindly concession of the Italian Program for Antarctic Research (PNRA)
Daniele Bortoli, Mario Zucchelli Station, Antártica, 08-01-2013
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