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27 December, 2002

MacTown, part I

McMurdo Station was established in 1956. Lieutenant Archibald McMurdo for whom the sound was named was an officer aboard James Ross' 1841 ship the Terror. The station is the largest in Antarctica with a summer population of about 1100 and a winter population of only 200. It's summer now. There are over 100 buildings here. Many of them are the types you would expect in a self-sufficient community. There is a fire department, a medical center, a church, post office, multiple dormitory buildings, a premier science lab, and a large dining hall.

You might be surprised to know that there are also ATM machines, a ships store (the name is left over from when the Navy ran the station), a barbershop, a gym, bowling alley, and a desalinization plant. There are fuel tanks for the various fuels, a diving recompression chamber, 2 clubs (Gallagher's Pub and the Southern Exposure), a coffeehouse, and helicopter facility. There is even a hydroponics greenhouse here somewhere that I'll try to locate.

The interactive McMurdo webcam can be accessed at the following site: http://live7.truelook.com:80/face/newface.jsp?name=/na sa/mcmurdo&func=live&overlay=default

1. From half way up Observation Hill, McMurdo Station takes the appearance of a frontier town

2. A map of MacTown. The central road is called Highway 1.

3. The Coffee House is one of three clubs at the station

4. The Chapel of the Snows

5. There are several dormitories at the station. The room that Taber and I share doesn't have windows which makes it easier to sleep at night.

6. The weight room

7. A craft shop features a section for ceramics

8. A ceramic snowman

9. The webcam is located on top of this building near the main dormitory and galley

10. MacTown at midnight

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