Thanksgiving eclipse

A great picture of the eclipse by David Renfroe

Last weekend Thanksgiving was celebrated with a two day weekend, a fancy dinner and a solar eclipse! The partial eclipse occurred on Friday Nov. 25th between 6:30-8:30pm covering about 75% of the sun. A large group of people gathered at the Pole to watch armed with welding helmets, dark glasses, CDs, and foil covered mylar sheets. We took part of our dinner break to run out to the pole. Swapping lenses and laughing as we tried on the welding masks. I clumsily tried to hold the thin mylar sheet in front of my lens with big gloves or numb fingers and focus not on my foil, but on the sun. I think the best bet is to have a tripod. The shadow of a kitchen sieve provided a cool effect – showing the progression of the eclipse within the shadow of each hole. At the most coverage it grew just noticeably dimmer, as if a thin cloud had passed over the sun, and then began to brighten again. Here are some pictures from the event:

The partially eclipsed Antarctic sun as seen without any sort of filter

The sun through the foil coated mylar – kind of interesting – it reminds me of a Mac screen saver

The best shot I was able to get...

Trying to take pictures through the welding mask

Polies at the pole watching the sun – and a good shot of the station

Using a sieve from the kitchen to observe the eclipse

The holes in the sieve showed the progression of the eclipse. Photo by Kiell Kosberg

A picture of all of us watching the eclipse at the pole – I’m playing with a new lens on the very left. Photo by David Renfroe

The last few pictures here were taken by Kiell Kosberg and David Renfroe as credited. Kiell ( was here last year as the heavy shop General Assistant and is back again in Materials. This is David’s first season on the ice. He is here with his wife Kasey as Dining Attendants or DAs. Their awesome blog is another to check out:

Thanksgiving itself was celebrated with an amazing feast on Saturday evening. An extra day off affects the schedule enough as is, so holidays are moved to weekends. I did not bring my camera to the event, but will make sure to do so for Christmas. The pictures here were taken by head DA Kasia McGrew. Each seating was kicked off with a half hour reception in the hallway outside the galley with music and beautiful hors d’oeuvres. The galley itself was transformed with candles, table cloths, crackling “fire” on the TVs, wine glasses, and elegantly folded cloth napkins. The large windows were blacked out with cardboard and dainty white Christmas lights strung between the overhead fluorescent light fixtures. It was lovely and many people dressed up in ties and slacks or dresses. I’d brought a long black evening gown for the event. Strange not to see a single carhartt brand anywhere! With 199 people on station we had 3 seatings, 18 turkeys, and more than a few bottles of wine. Afterward there was a hilarious, though rowdy, extended team game of scrabble followed by a big dance party. It was a welcome break from routine and a respite from the sometimes monotonous 54 hour work weeks. Days seem to blur together here; it’s always bright and cold, there are the same people at lunch and dinner that I saw at breakfast, there aren’t too many places to go other than the Station, Summer Camp, and work. Even the one day off becomes the same week after week– sleep in a few hours, enjoy a 2 minute shower, have a long brunch, do a small load of laundry, use the internet, play games, or write letters. The holidays are a fun way to break up the season and highly anticipated two day weekends are given for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years.

The hall decked out for the hors d’oeuvres and reception. Photo by Kasia McGrew.

The galley looking beautiful. Photo by Kasia McGrew.

A table setting with fancy plates, folded napkins, table cloth, candle and everything! Photo by Kasia McGrew.

Turkey! Lots of Turkey….Photo by David Renfroe

Hope everyone had a delightful Thanksgiving!

1 Comment

Filed under Antarctic, Science, South Pole

One response to “Thanksgiving eclipse

  1. What an experience! A solar eclipse at the South Pole! I love the affect of the sieve.

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