Back to the Ice

I’m leaving for the Ice again in two days.

How did this happen? I spent the last few weeks getting ready for and attending the big geophysics conference in San Francisco, and now all of a sudden it’s time to leave. I’m mostly packed; I picked up some new gear, and after all my troubles with glasses fogging up last year, I ordered some disposable contact lenses to use instead. Although I still need to find out if contacts can survive freezing solid. Anybody happen to know?

In lieu of actual science content, which may have to wait until I’m finished packing, here is a chantey I wrote about my upcoming trip. Sea chanteys are the songs that sailors used to coordinate the pulling of ropes and hoisting of anchors and whatnot, as well as just to pass the time on long ocean voyages.

This one should be sung to the tune of “Bound for South Australia” (here’s a nice rendition.) I tried to include some traditional sea chantey elements–lots of heaving and hauling, of course, of which there is a fair bit when you’re working in Antarctica, as well as complaints about the difficulty of the journey, longings for bonnie lasses, et cetera.

McMurdo Bound, or, Way South of South Australia, a minimally processed a capella version sung by yours truly.

Antarctica is where I’m bound
Heave away, haul away
I’m headed for McMurdo Sound
Yes, bound for old McMurdo

Haul away, my icy friends
Heave away, haul away
Haul until the season ends
We’re bound for old McMurdo

I’ll board a plane in old Christchurch
And head down south to do research
Haul away…

The Southern Ocean’s very wide
Eight hours’ flight to the other side
Haul away…

The storms blow up at a frightful pace
Can’t see your hand before your face
Haul away…

From blinding sun there’s no respite
For Mactown has no summer night
Haul away…

If you’d like a girl upon your knee
There’s a bonnie lass behind ev’ry tree
Haul away…

Keep gear at hand, ’cause if it’s not
You might end up like poor old Scott
Haul away…


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One Response to “Back to the Ice”

  1. Amanda Says:

    Safe travels! I look forward to hearing about your next adventures.


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