In both cases, the terms of a restrictive treaty prevent the open pursuit of more practical goals.This fits with a long Antarctic tradition of using science as a fig leaf for ambition.The ship’s folklore abounds in stories of such near misses.
If Mc Murdo Sound is frozen over, which happens frequently and unpredictably, there are no second chances.
“Why would we build a secret military base at the bottom of the world? ” “You put missiles in the ice.” “Why not use our huge fleet of nuclear submarines? I make a mental note to approach America’s premier research station with my eyes open.
But I also start to worry about what the Russians are up to at their ring of stations around Antarctica.
Even if everything goes perfectly, the harbor is open, and the ship is able to anchor in Winter Quarters Bay, passengers still need an invitation from the Americans to come ashore.
The station is friendly to visitors, but tourism is not an officially-sanctioned Antarctic activity.