Tag Archives: Holidays

“The PIG Diggers”

Our crew's sticker (a field camp tradition) The WAS Recovery Team has returned victorious and with smiles on our faces yet! To quote our project manager announcing the successes of the season: “…The Pine Island Glacier (PIG) Traverse arrived back at WAIS Divide field camp yesterday afternoon, Sunday January 25th NZDT, completing the full return of ~ 90,000 pounds of camp infrastructure and equipment from the PIG C site. The excavation of the buried equipment and cargo by the 4-person recovery team prior to the arrival of the traverse proved critical to the success of this effort.” We had a great season in the field, making it to all three sites: PIG, WAIS, and Byrd. We had no internet access out there, only an HF radio and two iridium phones. So let me start at the beginning… On November 19, after several weather delays, we finally boarded a LC-130 Herc and departed McMurdo for WAIS Divide. The first day at WAIS was spent digging out the PIG Traverse berm and sorting our cargo into first and second flight loads for the Twin Otter. We put-in at PIG on the 21st with the Twin Otter making two trips – first with some of our cargo and then a second flight with the four of us and more of our survival supplies.

The Twin Otter loaded down with our gear and cargo

The Twin Otter loaded down with our gear and cargo

Coming in for the landing at PIG

Coming in for the landing at PIG

PIG_20141121_15 A deep field put-in requires shelter, comms, and a heat source before the plane is allowed to leave. We had delegated tasking beforehand and the Scott tent was erected right away, McMurdo Operations (MacOps) was called on the Iridium phone, and our little whisper-lite stove was fired up to prove we could melt snow for water.  The Twin Otter pilots said their good byes and headed back to WAIS. Thankfully it was a calm and beautiful evening and we spent the next few hours settling in. I dug an outhouse trench and set up a little tent over it. Andy, our mechanic, got busy digging out and setting up the Nordic diesel drip stove which was wonderfully right at the surface of the snow on the PIG berm. DeVal, our camp manager, and Jen, the field coordinator, quickly excavated some proper floor panels from the berm and began shaving down a level area where we could set up the larger more comfortable Arctic Chief tent. Scott tents are great shelter – they are sturdy, but there isn’t much insulation and they’re quite small for a primary shelter.

Town set up

Town set up

By midnight that first night we had the Scott tent and the Arctic Chief up with the Nordic stove burning and a big pot of snow on top to melt. We sat in a circle and ate our dehydrated dinner packets then rolled out our sleeping bags and slept side by side on the floor. The next day we set up our individual mountain tents (Mountain Hardwear Trango’s) and unpacked and organized the rest of our food and cargo. Then it was time to get down to business…

The berm, buried to the top in places…

The berm, buried to the top in places…

Pine Island Glacier is located near the coast of West Antarctica – from the air you can just see a dark line that is the ocean and on a clear day on the ground you can see two little mountains peaking over the horizon. For the most part though it is flat white with awful weather, even by West Antarctic standards. Being so close to the ocean we were visited by a few South Polar Skuas and Snow Petrels! This area gets significant accumulation and it had been two years since the camp was closed and the cargo bermed. The satellite photo I posted earlier showed the cargo lines fairly clearly which was encouraging and some pallets were quite scoured. The Tucker however, was almost completely gone, with just a few inches showing above the surface!

Andy surveying the Tucker

Andy surveying the Tucker

We marked out the area to be cleared and fired up the chainsaws. The snow there is heavy and hard, more like sandstone than snow at times! Shovels worked great for the first half meter and for cleaning up edges and the bits thrown out by the chainsaws, but the chainsaws were really the star of the show. And the pick axes. The blocks were heavy too, the snow being about 50% water. Blocks were cut, heaved to the lip of the pit, and then loaded onto little sleds and dragged out of the way downwind. We did this in part to keep the working area around the pit clear and also to reduce drifting as we would eventually have to dig up buried items on either side of the Tucker as well. It took 5 days to fully clear the Tucker; to excavate around and under the vehicle, chip out the ice in the tracks, and melt out the engine and cab. And then we connected the battery and…it fired right up without a hitch and I drove it out of the hole! PIG_20141123_47

Making the first ramp cuts

Making the first ramp cuts

Hauling blocks downwind

Prying out blocks and hauling them downwind

It seemed to go a lot quicker once we were working our way down the machine itself!

It seemed to go a lot quicker once we were exposing new parts along the machine itself!

DeVal looking epic

DeVal looking epic

Nearly there!

Nearly there!

On November 28 we celebrated Thanksgiving, sleeping in and indulging in frozen corn and stuffing mix. With perfect timing the weather closed in and for the next two days we were stuck inside as the storm raged – filling in the giant Tucker hole we had just cleared. Then we started digging out the Cat 297 and fuel tank following the same process as the Tucker. 4 days later we drove that out of the ground and got to work digging out the other pallets of cargo. Just a few days after that we were hit again with another storm. And so it went…digging, sawing, and chipping out pallets of cargo, then when we’d reached a good stopping point a storm would roll through and we’d hunker down in the Chief. Old Star Trek movies proved to be a good source of entertainment and conversation.

The 297 almost ready to go

The 297 almost ready to go

Our in-house theater

Our in-house theater

Meanwhile, back at WAIS the PIG Traverse was working hard to get their sleds and tractors together and in working order. This far from McMurdo all fuel is brought in via LC-130s. Delays and cancellations meant that the WAIS Divide camp was low on fuel itself with none to spare for the traverse. So the PIG Traverse had to make a trip out to Byrd to fill their fuel bladders and on December 17th they finally headed our way. It was perfect timing, delays and all – On the 20th we unearthed our final piece, the groomer. We had been dreading this skeleton of metal, which would be rocked in hard with ice and snow. Big square things were easy to pull out, but something with so much open space meant we’d have to clear it out completely.

Digging out empty drums…

Digging out empty drums…

Triwalls to be dug out

Triwalls to be dug out

It was completely buried. If we didn’t have a photo of the berm before they’d left in Jan 2013 we’d never have known it was there at all! Only a flag marking the tip of the hitch was visible. Thankfully with a little help from our friend, the Tucker, and some chainsaw work it came out smooth as butter in just one day! We were done – all cargo excavated, ready and waiting for the Traverse to arrive.

Drilling down to find the groomer…

Drilling down to find the groomer…

The groomer emerging

The groomer emerging

As soon as we were done, with impeccable timing, the biggest storm yet closed in on us. We huddled inside the Chief for nearly 4 days waiting it out as it dumped snow and howled at 25-30kts. We read, and slept, made breakfast for dinner with some dehy hash browns and frozen eggs and watched movies on the little laptop – powering it via a little 1KW generator when the clouds were too thick for the solar panels to work. With the sun up 24/7 we had little need for electricity. A few light weight solar panels charged small electronics like our iridium phones, camera batteries, and kindles, but we had brought along a 1KW portable generator as well.

Stormy day at PIG

PIG Breezy!

A mountain tent nearly gone!

A mountain tent nearly gone!

Cargo drifts

Drifted cargo

The Traverse arrived late in the day on Christmas Eve bearing mail and baked goods from WAIS. The 9 of us crammed into the Arctic Chief for a special Christmas dinner and good times were had by all as we shared stories of the prior month and cracked open a few cans of egg nog.

The PIG Traverse rolling into town

The PIG Traverse rolling into town

Building up the cargo load for the traverse

Building up the cargo load for the traverse

Fueling the traverse tractors

Fueling the traverse tractors

The Traverse double teaming to break the load free

The Traverse double teaming to break the load free

The Chief succumbing to the ice…

After only 6 weeks – The Chief succumbing to the ice…

Andy’s contract was up at the end of December so the Twin Otter picked him up the day after Christmas – and we set to work digging out all the cargo for a second time. That big storm had created whales of drifts that had engulfed not only our tents, but the cargo we had so carefully unearthed. With everyone helping we got the traverse loaded up and on Dec 28th they left PIG with the first load of ~15 pallets. We stayed busy organizing and palletizing the remaining cargo while they drove halfway to WAIS and staged the first load. They returned a few days later and on January 4th with a break in the weather we flew back to WAIS. Job complete.

Welcome to WAIS Divide!

Welcome to WAIS Divide!

The metropolis of WAIS

The metropolis of WAIS

Tent city at WAIS

Tent city at WAIS

We spent a week at WAIS Divide, enjoying the home cooked food and the larger camp facilities like the showers…After 6 weeks at PIG with only baby wipes I didn’t mind shoveling a bunch of snow for a shower! The Twin Otter pilots had taken some photos of the buried Tucker and the folks at WAIS were pretty awed. The next task was to fly out to Byrd camp to repair the Tucker and bring it back to WAIS so it could be utilized at other camps as needed. While we waited for two mechanics from  McMurdo to join us, and then for a flight out to Byrd, we helped around camp. As an operator I mostly groomed and helped with the winter berms. WAIS_20150121_69 On Jan 12th we finally got good weather and permission to fly and it was off to Byrd. The berms at Byrd were the complete opposite from PIG, well scoured, still quite high above grade, and with much softer snow. We set up personal mountain tents to sleep in and opened up the hard sided galley module for cooking and as a DNF (do not freeze…aka heated) space. That week was spent digging out the Tucker, repairing it, verifying the fuel inventory, raising the skiway drags, and putting together a mini-traverse for the drive back to WAIS. Byrd and WAIS are only about 100 miles apart, but both sites are so remote and the environment so inhospitable that it could be very serious should anything go wrong. We loaded a piece of high molecular weight (HMW) plastic with survival supplies, the Scott tent, extra food, twice the amount of fuel they expected to use, backup iridium phones, and various other pieces of cargo to lighten the final Twin Otter flight. This ultra-slick material is the foundation for almost all Antarctic traverses these days. Then, on the morning of Jan 17th, one of the mechanics and our team lead departed Byrd for WAIS Divide. Thankfully the snow conditions were just right and the Tucker had no issues, and they sailed in to WAIS by the end of the day! The following morning the Twin Otter managed to fly out to Byrd and picked up the remaining three of us who had been left behind. We spent the final week at WAIS waiting for a flight to McMurdo and helping out around camp.

Jethro on the the Byrd Berms

Jethro on the the Byrd Berms

Fixing the Tucker

Fixing the Tucker

The mini-Byrd Traverse heading off to WAIS Divide

The mini-Byrd Traverse heading off to WAIS Divide

The Twin Otter loading up our last flight

The Twin Otter loading up our last flight

I’m back in McMurdo now, heading on to New Zealand shortly. The PIG Traverse just made it back to WAIS on Jan 25th successful in their final haul to bring the 90,000lbs of PIG cargo back. WISSARD, Siple, and WAIS Divide are in the process of shutting down. It’s been a great season with a great crew! I want to send a huge Thank You to all the McMurdo field support staff, the PIG Traverse guys, the Twin Otter crew, and the WAIS Divide camp staff!

The Herc at Willy Field, McMurdo

The Herc at Willy Field, McMurdo

Ivan the Terra Bus!

Ivan the Terra Bus!

WAIS Divide camp staff

WAIS Divide camp staff – and the vintage Alp 1 snowmobile

The WAS Recovery Team at PIG

The WAS Recovery Team at PIG (photo courtesy of DeVal)

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Filed under Antarctic, Byrd, Field Camps, Flights, Pine Island Glacier, Traverse, WAIS Divide

Sunrise, Sunrise…

HDR of the sun on Sept 26, 2013

HDR of the sun from DZ on September 26, 2013

Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
And I say it’s all right

Little darling, it’s been a long cold lonely winter
Little darling, it feels like years since it’s been here

“Here Comes the Sun” by the Beatles

The longest night has finally come to a close. After four months of solid darkness the light returned quickly, growing steadily brighter each day. It’s been six months since we last saw the sun’s golden light. Technically the sun breached the horizon on the equinox, September 22, however due to atmospheric distortions it was visible on Saturday September 21. We’ve had a number of stormy days of late providing us with a few glimpses here and there. It circles us now, skimming the horizon, rising in imperceptible increments – a slow and steady spiral.

On Saturday morning I walked out to the ‘end of the world’ – the edge of activity here at the South Pole. Beyond stretched the polar plateau unbroken, unmarked, hundreds of miles of snow and ice ending abruptly to drop off into the sea.
By the time I reached the edge, with all signs of life and human presence behind me, I was well frosted up. My fleece neck gaiter was thick and stiff with ice, a little area melted by my warm exhalations. My eyelashes were coated with thick globs of ice – freezing together or to my gaiter if I was slow in blinking…I pulled off my thick mitten and melted them clear with my bare finger tips, dropping the chunks of ice onto the snow by my feet. I had learned the hard way not to try with just my glove liner. It froze to my eyelashes and then my hand was stuck to my face and my eye was still frozen shut – starting to panic I yanked my hand away, pulling out half my eyelashes with it…which I guess got the ice off too…but not something I wanted to repeat. It was amusing to be sure, but a little uncomfortable.

My eyes open and free of ice I snuggled down into my warm layers, pulling my hood up against the wind, narrowing the gap between hat and gaiter. I stood blinking at the horizon. Thermal layers within the atmosphere distorted the sun shifting it like a mirage – a wavering, shifting orb of incredible sunrise_HDRbrightness and beauty. My eyes watered and I remembered you’re not supposed to stare at it…blinking, I looked down at the snow by my feet, a negative image of the sun burned into my retinas. I felt both over and underwhelmed. Overwhelmed by the light, by the emotions from the past six months, by the thoughts of the season ending and having to face the beautiful and terrible world again, of having to deal with cars and advertising and money and strangers…so many people! Overwhelmed by joy in the sun’s return, in awe of its utter magnificence and yet at the same time by a sadness at the knowledge that unless I return for another winter I will never again see the southern stars pirouetting overhead at noon, or the aurora australis dancing across the sky, illuminating the frozen plateau in a wash of green.
Simultaneously, I felt underwhelmed – a sentiment of “Well, that’s it then.” Resignation. The sun came back and life goes on. These next six weeks will fly by and then I’ll be off and away. I struggled with a deep, welling sense of regret and ache at the troubles and drama of the season, at the fact that a small number of angry people had decided they didn’t want to be here and had tried their very best to bring us all down. That’s been the hardest part of all – the people, but it always is.

“The exceeding brightness of this early sun
Makes me conceive how dark I have become.”
― Wallace Stevens, The Palm at the End of the Mind: Selected Poems and a Play

Sunrise here is not as quick and dramatic as at lower latitudes. I took an entire month to transition from the first hint of dawn to the sun itself rising above the horizon. There’s no point in standing and watching it, all you’ll see is the sun sliding sideways 15 degrees per hour. So after a few minutes my fingers were numb and my toes began to complain of cold. I shook myself, glanced up at the sun one last time and turned to walk back to the station. The wind was in my face and my skin ached with the windchill below -100F. The area between my eyes was uncovered and I felt the budding of an ice cream headache. I held my mitten over the gap of my eyes, careful not to let it freeze to my eyebrows or eyelashes, and listened to the crunch of snow beneath my feet as I trudged back towards the station. I thought about returning to the real world, to a world where the sun rises and sets every day! 364 times more than here.

The sun reflecting off the station

The sun reflecting off the station

HDR Sunrise on 19 Sept 2013

Axillary fuel tanks at the end of the world

Auxiliary fuel tanks at the end of the world

Sunrise on 21 September 2013 at the end of the world

Sunrise on 21 September 2013 at the end of the world

Back inside I got a cup of tea and noticed I was wearing my ‘inside clothes.’ I had absolutely no recollection of changing. I decided I was hungry and went to get a bowl, but by the time I got to the bowls I forgot what I was there for and so got a spoon to stir my tea and returned to my room…I woke one morning recently severely confused as to whether it was 6am or 6pm – had I laid down to close my eyes before dinner? Or was this a new day? TOAST.

Sunrise Dinner

Sunrise Dinner

A friend of mine passed away last month in a climbing accident. We worked together on the Juneau Icefield in 2008. The sunrises and sunsets on the icefield are some of the most spectacular I’ve ever witnessed. Breaks in the clouds during this long sunrise reveal an awe inspiring display, reminding me of Kevin’s description of the sky on the icefield: The snow gave way to sky and an explosion of contrast between white earth and ferocious sky drew the air from my lungs and left me feeling entirely insignificant.
Rest in peace Kevin Volkening

The satellite domes near the end of the world

The satellite domes near the end of the world

Venus passed the moon early in September over the course of a few hours.

Venus passed the moon early in September over the course of a few hours.

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Filed under Antarctic, South Pole, Winter

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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Filed under Antarctic, Stations, Winter

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to everyone around the world! Welcome 2012!

The New Year was celebrated here with 4 live “local bands” and a large dance party in the gym…Despite having only a few weeks to get together and creat a set list the music was wonderful. Today is a beautiful bluebird day, back down to a more average temperature of -12.6F and 12knots of wind.

6 More weeks left until station closing. We’ll hopefully be getting many more flights per day from here on out, which will help make the weeks pass. This last stretch can be a bit of a haul, especially with everyone excited about post-ice travel plans.

The funk band kickin it!

"The Flakes" rock out in the gym

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Filed under Antarctic, South Pole

Merry Christmas!

South Pole welded Christmas tree

With a tangible sigh of relief felt throughout the entire station the work day ended on Friday for a two day weekend. All of Logistics (Cargo, Waste, Fuels, and Materials) gathered in Cargo’s DNF building for a white elephant party. We’d created a tree out of bamboo poles and green side nets a few days before and it had since steadily accumulated decorations hung from bailing wire – old respirators, a snowmobile spark plug, a rock that arrived on a pallet from McMurdo, a Hazardous Materials sticker or two, some tinsel, silver duct tape…the bamboo poles stuck up too high and it lilted to one side, but it was glorious.

Our awesome cargo net Christmas tree

Christmas Eve came in warm (~0F), but with a 20 knot wind blowing the snow horizontal. Despite the lack of horizon and the chilly wind the much anticipated “Race Around the World” went ahead anyways and with much gusto. This year the Race was a 2.3 mile groomed course that wound around the elevated station, across the skiway to the Dark Sector, over to the Tourist Camp, and back to the pole. As it goes around the Geographic Pole it technically passes through all the world’s time zones and “around the world.”

A second track parallels the race course to avoid vehicle/racer interference

A line of flags leads into the whiteness

A variety of walkers, runners, racers, skiers, snowmobiles, Pisten Bullys, and various pieces of heavy equipment gathered at the Pole most decorated or dressed up in some way shape or form. While the majority of participants were out just to have fun, there was also an official timed race component – the winners (fastest man and woman) will get to go to McMurdo in January for a full marathon there! James Tolan came in first for men at 19 minutes 3 seconds. Sarah Kernasovski came in first for women with a time of 23 minutes 53 seconds. After the race everyone gathered in the galley for a huge brunch and the awards.

The Race Around the World begins!

Bikers, skiers, jugglers, walkers, runners, drivers…

The ICECUBE chariot!

Racers between snow and sky

The first and second place men: Carlos and James

At 630pm we gathered in the hallway for hors d’oeurvs. Again everyone looked lovely in something other than carhartts – slacks, ties, dresses. I wore a long black dress, silver high heels I’d found in the craft room costume box, a green shawl, and pearls. Third seating for Christmas Dinner is the most popular. With 231 people on station the holiday dinners are served in shifts. An hour is given for each meal and for the first and second seating that means there’s not much time allowed to sit and chat afterwards. Third seating however was delightfully leisurely. The tables were again laid with white table cloths, candles, and cloth napkins folded like fans atop special plates. A fake tree was set up in a corner with lights and decorations…it was beautiful.

The galley transformed

Today, at 10.0°F, we’ve broken the previous South Pole high temperature record of 7.5°F above zero. It’s snowing outside (which is actually very rare here) and everyone is enjoying a quiet Christmas Sunday. A friend pointed out that we’re on the most peaceful continent on earth – continent-wide, though here at Pole especially, there is really no violence or theft to speak of. May everyone have this peace today. Merry Christmas!

The Ceremonial Pole on Christmas Eve

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Filed under Antarctic, South Pole

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 (http://kiellanddaniel.wordpress.com) 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: http://www.lifeofsaturdays.com.

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!

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Filed under Antarctic, Science, South Pole