Happy Mid-Winter!

Happy Solstice!
(first day of summer for all of you in the Northern latitudes)

U.S. Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station!

U.S. Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station!

We are in the very heart of the long Antarctic Winter now and today is perhaps the most significant milestone of the season: Mid-Winter. With just over 4 months down (128 days since the last plane to be exact) and roughly 4 more to go it’s the turning point, it’s all down – or up? – from here.

At the southernmost point on earth we will celebrate this solstice with a showing of “The Shining” projected on the wall of the gym and a fancy dinner served tomorrow evening. Today we had a conference call with a few of the first Polies to winter-over here in 1957. It was wonderful to hear some of their stories of having dogs and only a handful of people.

The solstice means that the sun has reached its lowest point – 23.5deg below the horizon – exactly the tilt of the earth. It will rise gradually, reaching its peak on December 21, though we won’t see any sign of it for another month or two yet.

It’s been a dark and stormy night this past week with temps in the -25F to -30F range and winds around 30kts. The weather here is either cold, clear, and calm; or warm (relatively), cloudy, and windy. Today the temps dropped to -60F and the winds to between 5-10kts. The moon rose this week, but with the clouds it’s been pitch black outside for two weeks now.

Below are some of the midwinter greetings we’ve received from our fellow Antarctic winter-overs both at US and foreign stations.

I am grateful to be here and wish everyone a happy and healthy mid-winter!

U.S. McMurdo Station

U.S. McMurdo Station

U.S. Palmer Station

U.S. Palmer Station

A letter from the U.S. President

A letter from the U.S. President

Halley Station

Halley Station

KEP Station

KEP Station

Maitri Base

Maitri Base

Neumayer Station

Neumayer Station

Neumayer Station Crew

Neumayer Station Crew

Troll Station

Troll Station

Troll Crew

Troll Crew

Rothera Station

Rothera Station

Macquarie Island

Macquarie Island

Macquarie Island in summer

Macquarie Island in summer

Amsterdam Island

Amsterdam Island

Davis Station

Davis Station

A note from the Japanese Minister

A note from the Japanese Minister

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5 Comments

Filed under Antarctic, Stations, Winter

5 responses to “Happy Mid-Winter!

  1. bb

    Thanks for gathering these.

  2. Woohoo – congrats!

    Wow, would love to have eavesdropped on that chat with the first-ever winterover Polies. Any chance you could put me in contact with whoever set that up? I’ve been trying to write some Pole-related historical fiction, and would be great to have some firsthand sources.

    Thanks!
    -pablo

  3. Pingback: Midwinter in Antarctica - Antarctic Logistics & Expeditions

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