Friday, 2 August 2013

Ross Dependency- McMurdo Station and Australian Antarctic Territory

Antarctica-Ross Dependency-Scott Base  Getting into the Ross Sea and arriving here is far from a done deal.Without any doubt the hardest part of Antarctica to get to if youare coming by ship.  It is a very slow process getting through the packed Ice. This was a five week trip. Landing in the New Zealand part of Antarctica. We had a New Zealand ranger with us where we landed. A group of about 80 on this trip. What you get to see on the landings are the famous wooden huts that are preserved from the days of the early Expeditions in the early 1900s. They still have food, Drink newspapers. The New Zealand government do a great job minding these very special historic buildings. Arriving in Scott Base,again was not easy . One of the helicopters had been grounded so we only had one go get from ship to shore. So it was a risk. But thankfully all went well. 

The first tourist ship to get here in 2 years. The previous ship which went 4 weeks prior to this had to turn back. So I was privileged to get here. Some passengers on the ship, this was there 3rd time and was the only time they had made it this far. When you visit Scott Base the New Zealand crew are so friendly and you can see all around. There is a small shop, with a Post box. You can buy stamps and souvenirs here. There has not been a Post office here for many many years. So I knew the mail would be sent back to Christchurch for processing. On the left is a Rubber stamp mark I put on myself as it was right beside the Post box. I sent this on 15 February 2008 and it got postmarked in Christchurch on 18 February 2008. So that was very quick. The runway is shared with the American Base. 

Antarctica-McMurdo Station   This is the American Base at McMurdo. You could walk between the two bases the New Zealand and the American base. But got a lift from a New Zealander . The base here is chalk and cheese compared to the New Zealand base. Every mod con you could think off . A much bigger base here . We had a tour of the base which is very interesting ,many parts were off limits. We were the first tourists in 2 years. 

I had not brought American stamps with me as my main focus on this trip was to get to Scott Base . Unfortunately as this was coming towards the end of the season in February the shop had run out of Stamps. And also the last American plane to take mail back had left. So my postcard was to sit here until the next season and the stamps arrived. I had to get someone to look after my card. You can see even though it was posted on February 15, it ended up being postmarked on October 9, when the next mailing went out. 

Antarctica-McMurdo Station   This is The Chapel of the Snows serving the needs of the community at Mc Murdo Station. So we visited here and there is even a fire truck here. Like a small town. Very impressive. 

I have left this information intact here. Again I had to leave this card and wait for it to get posted. I had no idea I would get anything written on the card. 

Antarctica-Australian Antarctic Territory-Macquarie Island   A fantastic Island to visit. This is really sub Antarctica. Here you learn about the moving land plates that makes this place unique. Lots of wildlife. This was on the way back towards Tasmania. This Island is also  a World Heritage Site. Here you can see a photo of the Settlement on Macquarie Island. There is no permanent population here. But people all year around . 

I again had left the full back of the postcard for you to see. Reason is the extra makes on the back. One showing Seals and the other Bird life. There is a Post office here which is inside the Cafe and shop. The stamps sold are all Australian Antarctic Territory .