Monday, December 06, 2010

The Beach

Many people don't know why McMurdo is located where
it is. McMurdo is located at the point farthest south
on the planet where a sea-faring vessel can travel,
making it a "safe" port for ships. In the old days, it
was a jumping off point for explorers such as Shackleton
and Scott. Now it's literally a jumping off point for
several thousand people a year, headed all over the
Even though McMurdo is located at sea level, it is far
from a place where you would want to take a quick dip in
the water. It hovers around freezing all year long and
in deepest winter, the water temperature is actually much
warmer than the air. When Lynn did the Polar Plunge
several years ago, she didn't really get cold until she
got out of the water, where the air was many degrees above
zero. The "warm" water was just below 32 degrees!
So...the beach scene above isn't exactly inviting. Oddly
enough, if you did take a swim in this water this time
of year, your survival time would probably be longer than
in the middle of winter. It all has to do with the air
temperature. Ultimately though...swimming in freezing
water in any air temperature doesn't do go things to the
human body!

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