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Welcome to the White Continent by Ella Derbyshire

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About This Gigapan

Taken by
Ella Derbyshire Ella Derbyshire
Explore score
0.11 Gigapixels
Date added
Nov 11, 2008
Date taken
Oct 15, 2008

Nikon D80's


So here we are, sitting high and dry on the fast ice of McMurdo Sound. The C17 that brought us here is on the left. There is a line of folks waiting to climb into Ivan the Terrabus, which is the big orange/red, boxy vehicle sitting mid-photo. There are other, less famous, but nonetheless interesting vehicles waiting to receive passengers and supplies from this flight from Christchurch, New Zealand.

For many of the passengers, this is their first time to Antarctica, which is called "The White Continent", and also fondly know as "the Ice". We had a pleasant flight, with the 2 foreward windows on the plane providing nice views of the clear skies above and the frozen land beneath us. On landiing, the weather was rather mild, with a temperature of about -16 degrees C, bright sun and only a light breeze. What a perfect day it was!

Ivan the Terrabus is a bit of an icon. Crossing the Sound to McMurdo Research Station is usually a memorable event for those privledged folks who make the journey. Ivan takes a good many people on their first ride in Antarctica. When we were in Christchurch we heard that Ivan's radiator had a leak, and that there was a search in progress for a replacement part. With very few Ivan-type vehicles in the world, parts must be especially difficult to find. I thought that I would miss out on my chance to ride on this famous bus. But when we arrived, there he was, far bigger than I expected him to be, and rumbling a happy greeting. Ivan ran stolidly across the sea ice with his radiator working very well indeed.

The 26 images of this panorama were photographed with a Nikon D80 and stitched with Autopano Pro. I used the GIMP to remove the dust bunnies that were very apparent on the image, a result of the small aperture needed for the bright landscape. Please enjoy the result!

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