Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Look Who's Back

Just when you think that winter is settling into
McMurdo, a visitor from the summer cruised into our
turning basin last night. The Nathanial B. Palmer
diverted from it's planned route and made course for
McMurdo when one of the folks aboard suffered a
non-life-threatening injury. However, it was determined
that it was beneficial to the patient to set heading for
the small Medical facilities here, as opposed to making
way for Lyttelton New Zealand, which at the time was
about a 12 day journey. The patient was brought into
town last night via helicopter and berthed in Dorm 155
(where I was enlisted to make up their room and bed
before they arrived). After examination last night
and follow up this morning, the patient was transported
by Haaglund over the ice to the waiting Natty B where
they then boarded. At 0905 the Nathanial B. Palmer
radioed it's intention to leave the turning basin and
immediately headed north to Lyttelton.

It was interesting to see a ship in the McMurdo vicinity
this late in the season. It hasn't happened since the
fuel tanker MV Richard G. Matthiesen visited the area
in 2003 during the over-ice fuel transfer of that year.
What was fun to see was the twinkling lights of the Natty
B. as she sat in the basin. Since most ships visit during
the 24/7 daylight summer season, their running lights are
never a factor during their visits. Although it was fun
to see, let's hope that this is the last visit from a
vessel to the McMurdo area for the next few months.

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