The Ob Tube

Seal resting on the sea ice

The diver's hut next to the Ob Tube

View of Ob Hill from the Ob Tube

Climbing into the Ob Tube

View from the Ob Tube: sea ice formations

View from the Ob Tube: sea ice formations

View from the Ob Tube: sea ice formations

A fish on sea ice that had formed on the window of the Ob Tube

View looking up out of the Ob Tube

I spent my first day on the ice at the Long Duration Balloon (LDB) Facility, where we work daily to prepare the STO-2 gondola and instrument. (LDB will be the subject of many future posts.)

After work, I attended a training session on outdoor skills in Antarctica. The training itself covers the flagging system (aka early GPS, so you know that you are on the trail and not walking into a snow covered crevasse) and procedures for checking out at the firehouse to let the right people know you are out hiking.

It is mostly common-sense, straight-forward information, but was required in order to walk down to the Ob Tube (Observation Tube), which I did with my friends and colleagues Chris and Kay from Arizona State University promptly after completing the training.

The Ob Tube is a hole is drilled in the sea ice and a long tube with an observation deck is inserted at the bottom. From here, one can observe the beauty of the sea. I saw only small fish and beautiful ice formations inside the Ob Tube, but a seal was resting on the sea ice outside. We also had a fantastic view of Ob Hill (Observation Hill). Enjoy the pictures from the evening!


  • Jenna Kloosterman