After 7 months of being sequestered away – isolated from the rest of the physical world – we welcomed our first planes yesterday. Two Kenn Borek Twin Otters arrived from Rothera on their way to McMurdo! They travel in pairs for SAR purposes. It was strange to hear their voices over the radio, sounding so close, and so…Canadian. Winterovers drifted out to watch – standing on roofs, out on the snow, on the decks, and stairs watching and waving – and then when they had landed we all scuttled to our rooms and at lunch filled one long table in the galley, sitting close and trying not to stare. I wonder what they see in us – with our pale skin, wide eyes, and overgrown facial hair (on the guys at least). It’s beyond strange to see a figure and not be able to immediately identify them by how they are moving alone.

No matter how strange it may be, they have more than made themselves welcome with a bag of freshies! Apples, bananas, and kiwis! Enough for half a piece per person. I stood in line (yes, there was a line in the galley!) and found myself just staring at the kiwis, they were so luminous, so succulent looking, so perfectly real. I have been dreaming of apples though, so I picked one of the halved granny smiths. Perhaps the best apple I have ever tasted. There’s nothing quite like not being able to have something to make it so much more desirable.

They’ll refuel, rest, and wait for the weather in Mac Town to clear then they’ll head onwards. Meanwhile, the atmosphere is crackling with energy reminiscent of a Christmas morning. Still a month to go – but a month filled with changes, flights, and preparations for the summer crew. This is the beginning of the end.

The first Twin Otter touches down on October 5, 2013. -43F and little wind.

The first Twin Otter touches down on October 5, 2013. -43F and little wind.


As for the Government shut down – we’re business as usual for now, we’ve been assured that we won’t be stranded. Some impact might be felt next season however, as per this article:

1 Comment

Filed under Antarctic, Flights, South Pole, Winter

One response to “Aliens

  1. Bonnie Foz

    Hi Marie! I’ve just read your last 3 posts, which are, as usual, absolutely wonderful. How beautiful your pictures are, of the sun brightening the landscape, of you all bundled up, of the planes landing, of your station. And how fascinating your observations on life at your Camp at the end of 7-9 long hard months. Where are you going after getting some well deserved refreshment and a different sort of beauty in New Zealand? I also loved your list of the things you want to experience that the rest of us take for granted!
    I’m heartsick reading the article at the end of your last post about the possible effects of the stooooooooooooooopid Republican Shutdown of our Democracy on the research at the Poles. It’s outrageous, and I agree that the R and D in this country should be considered Essential.
    Well, you must be getting mighty impatient to leave. Not long now. I look forward to more of your posts!
    Much love, Bonnie


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